NEW JERSEY – The New Jersey Lottery Commission held its July Commission meeting this week and announced its unaudited results for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2021, posting a record $3.68 billion in sales, the highest in Lottery history and 14.6% higher than Fiscal Year 2020.
As of June 30, 2021, the Lottery had contributed $1.08 billion in profits to the State, which are used to support the various public employee pension systems. The results are unaudited and the total amount of the final contribution to the State is expected to increase when the Lottery’s Fiscal Year 2021 financial audit is complete.
At the Lottery Commission meeting, Lottery Executive Director James A. Carey, Jr., said that the high sales were the result of several factors. Most significantly, Lottery sales were boosted because consumers had fewer options for entertainment spending during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lottery offered players an inexpensive and convenient form of entertainment and could be purchased when consumers were out buying necessities. In addition, the Lottery took several steps to adjust its operations during the pandemic, including allowing lottery courier companies to sell additional games over the Internet, changing draw times, and conducting numerous promotional events on social media.
“I am proud of the Lottery’s achievements this year. The circumstances were extraordinarily difficult for all of us and I want to thank all of those who assisted us during the challenging year. Our retailers and other partners have worked hard and maintained operations under difficult circumstances. I thank our players for their continued loyalty. And I also thank our valued team for being hardworking, dependable and dedicated, all the while ensuring the integrity of the games,” Carey said. “The New Jersey Lottery continued to operate during the pandemic and conducted sales and drawings every single day. We could only do that because of the commitment of our employees, partners and retailers.”
Sales of Scratch-Off games exceeded $2 billion for the first time in New Jersey Lottery history. The classic New Jersey Lottery games Pick-3 and Pick-4 collectively had sales of approximately $743 million, up more than 10% from last year. Jersey Cash 5 benefited from changes to the game that were launched on June 29, 2020, which resulted in more million dollar jackpots, prompting increased player participation and boosting sales by 35%. Mega Millions and Powerball had sales of $213 million and $175 million, respectively, and saw bigger jackpots in Fiscal Year 2021, including a $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot in January.
Players won $2 billion from the Lottery’s draw and Scratch-Off games. A player from Morris County won the January 29, 2021 Powerball jackpot of $33.2 million. A week prior a player from Passaic County won the January 22, 2021 Powerball jackpot of $23.2 million. Seventeen players won second tier prizes of $1 million or more from Powerball, Mega Millions or Cash4Life. Three players hit Pick-6 jackpots including one for $9.2 million. More than thirty players won $500,000 or more from Scratch-Offs, and more than ten Jersey Cash 5 jackpots worth more than $1,000,000 were won. Lottery’s 6,900 retailers earned over $200 million in commissions.
Executive Director Carey also announced that the Lottery will make an incentive payment to the State’s sales and marketing vendor, Northstar New Jersey Lottery Group. The calculation of the incentive payment will not be finalized until the Lottery’s financial audit is complete later this year. In May 2019, the Department of the Treasury and the Lottery entered into an amended service agreement with Northstar, which is projected to save approximately $100 million over the life of the contract.
The Lottery is the State’s fifth largest revenue producer benefiting the residents of New Jersey. Since its inception in 1970, the Lottery has contributed over $30 billion to the State, helping to support many worthwhile programs and services. Lottery profits currently help bolster the public employee pension system for teachers, police, fire personnel and other public employees under a 30-year agreement signed into law in 2017.