Players hoping for luck this year led to record New Jersey lottery sales
Lottery officials said $ 1.08 billion had been returned to the state as of June 30, the last day of the fiscal year.
Officials attributed the surge in sales to two factors – the COVID-19 closures and the ability to now purchase tickets online through a pair of approved courier companies.
“Lottery sales increased because consumers had fewer options for entertainment spending during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the New Jersey Lottery said in a statement. “The lottery offered players an inexpensive and convenient form of entertainment and could be purchased when consumers were shopping for basic necessities.”
Tickets can now be purchased through the Jackpocket app and through Lotto.com.
Scratch games continue to dominate lottery sales – over $ 2 million in instant tickets were sold in fiscal 2021. Two daily draw games – Pick-3 and Pick-4 accounted for $ 743 million additional ticket sales. Meanwhile, Jersey Cash 5 ticket sales soared 35%. The two games with by far the biggest prizes – the bi-weekly national Mega Millions and Powerball draws – were far behind, accounting for $ 213 million and $ 175 million in sales, respectively.
The minimum Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots have been reduced to $ 20 million, from $ 40 million at the start of the pandemic in spring 2020.
Players won around $ 2 billion in prizes in the fiscal year – July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.
In the most recent pre-pandemic year – fiscal 2019 – lottery sales totaled around $ 3.4 billion, according to this year’s annual report.
The biggest prize won in New Jersey in fiscal 2021 was won by someone who bought a Powerball ticket at QuickChek at Cedar Knolls and won the jackpot of $ 33.2 million on January 29.
Our journalism needs your support. Please register today at NJ.com.
Jeff Goldman can be reached at [email protected].