Massachusetts State Lottery sees third highest revenue in its history despite pandemic

A customer holds a Powerball ticket he bought at Out of Town News in Harvard Square on Jan. 7, 2016.
A customer holds a Powerball ticket he bought at Out of Town News in Harvard Square on Jan. 7, 2016.Dina Rudick

The Massachusetts State Lottery saw its third-highest revenue in its 49-year history during the 2020 fiscal year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, Lottery officials said in a statement Tuesday.

The Lottery collected an estimated $5.252 billion in revenue between July 1, 2019, and June 30, officials said. This year also marks the sixth year in a row that the Lottery’s revenue passed $5 billion.

“I am grateful for our loyal customers and proud of the work the Lottery team and dedicated retail partners have done to adjust operations in order to continue to generate essential local aid,” said Treasurer Deb Goldberg, chair of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission.


“At a time when we face mounting challenges, these resources are even more critical for our cities and towns,” Goldberg said.

About $3.866 billion, or 73.6 percent of all revenue gained during the year, was paid out in prizes, officials said. That included 185 prizes valued at $1 million or more, and 23 prizes valued at $2 million or more.

Despite the impressive revenue, some Lottery sales decreased significantly due to the pandemic.

With restaurants and bars closed for most of the spring and many customers still sticking to takeout or cooking at home officials said Keno sales were down 7.2 percent from record sales of $1.055 billion in fiscal year 2019.

Smaller jackpots during fiscal year 2020 led to fewer Mega Millions and Powerball sales. Officials said Mega Millions sales were down 50.9 percent this year, while Powerball sales decreased by 47.1 percent — a combined loss of $141 million from 2019.

Instant ticket sales were only down 0.74 percent from last year, thanks to a strong performance in sales last month and before the pandemic hit Massachusetts, officials said. The Lottery saw a record $3.673 billion in instant ticket sales during fiscal year 2019.


Retailers in the Lottery’s network earned about $300.8 million in commissions and bonuses over the 2020 fiscal year, authorities said.

“With approximately 7,500 retailers, that amounts to an average of over $40,000 in income for each of the Lottery’s retail partners,” the statement said.

The Lottery has generated more than $28 billion in net profit for Massachusetts since it began in 1972, officials said. For more information about the Lottery, visit www.masslottery.com.

Caroline Enos can be reached at caroline.enos@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @CarolineEnos.