Texas

Texas Lottery broke a sales record in 2018. Here’s how much winners got

People spent more over the past year than they ever have on Texas Lottery tickets.

Those playing the game of chance spent a record $6.25 billion on tickets in the past fiscal year.

And they received a record payout of $4.1 billion in prizes, according to the Texas Lottery Commission.

“The Texas Lottery has seen sales growth of more than $1.8 billion — or more than 42 percent — over the last five years, making it one of the most successful in the nation over that time span,” Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery, said in a statement.

Scratch-off tickets were the most popular lottery product last year, particularly those that cost between $10 and $50, with Texans spending more than $4.8 billion on them. The Multiplier and Gem 7 scratch off tickets were particularly popular, according to lottery officials.

And draw games, such as Powerball and Mega Millions, drew more than $1.4 billion in sales. Those sales numbers were at least partially boosted by tickets sold for a record $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot in October 2018, records show.

Lottery officials say the record sales also means that a record amount went back to the state.

Those payouts include $1.6 billion sent to the Foundation School Fund, which helps fund school needs across the state, and $19.4 million to the Fund for Veterans’ Assistance.

The lottery has contributed more than $24 billion to Texas public education and more than $120 million to Texas veterans.

This was the 16th consecutive year that the Texas Lottery generated more than $1 billion in funding for the state.

The first Texas Lottery tickets were sold in 1992.

Nearly a dozen North Texans have cashed in tickets for prizes worth $1 million or more this year. A state law that went into effect in 2017 lets people who claim lottery prizes that big or bigger remain anonymous.

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Anna M. Tinsley grew up in a journalism family and has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 2001. She has covered the Texas Legislature and politics for more than two decades and has won multiple awards for political reporting, most recently a third place from APME for deadline writing. She is a Baylor University graduate.
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