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.