The 2014 sales eclipsed by 4.8 percent the previous record of $2.476 billion set in 2013. The record sales also led to record commissions for the Lottery’s nearly 11,000 retailers, many of them family-owned businesses. Retailer commissions totaled $188.6 million, a 5.7 percent increase from the previous record of $178.4 million set in 2013.
Prizes awarded to players also set a new record, $1.59 billion, a 6.5 percent increase from the previous record of $1.49 billion set in 2013.
The Lottery also contributed $742.8 million to the state School Aid Fund in the 2014 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30. That was 1.2 percent higher than the 2013 contribution of $734.3 million.
The record sales were due primarily to a 10.5 percent increase in instant games, the Lottery’s top-selling category of games. Instant game sales were bolstered by the introduction of the Lottery’s first $30 instant game, $2,000,000 CA$H, in February.
Nearly a fifth of the $100 million increase in total prizes awarded to players came from a July Daily 4 drawing when 1-1-1-1 was drawn for the first time in more than nine years. About 3,700 Daily 4 players each won a top prize of $5,000 for a total of some $18.4 million. The number of winners and the prize total for the drawing were both nearly 25 times that of a typical Daily 4 drawing.