Georgians reach for lotto tickets amid pandemic blues
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgians may be spending a lot of time at home, but it’s not stopping them from playing the state lottery.
Lottery sales set a monthly record in April after dropping in March, said Brad Bohannon, the Georgia Lottery Corp.’s vice president for government relations,
“While most other forms of entertainment were limited, April sales rebounded extremely well,” Bohannon told the state House Higher Education Committee on Tuesday.
That’s continuing in May, with Bohannon saying two of the five highest sales weeks in lottery history have come this month.
He credits much of the increase to a 50% jump in use of the lottery’s online options, which allow people to buy tickets and play dozens of online gambling games at home.
The lottery has set sales and profit records for eight years, but Bohannon said that it may not reach that level for a ninth year, in part because of the huge ticket boost in the 2019-2020 budget year from a record $1.5 billion jackpot. Profit projections for the year have rebounded by $50 million with the increased purchases in April, to $1.11 billion, but remain below last year’s level for now. Bohannon said projections are likely to be revised up again at the end of May.
Proceeds from the lottery finance college aid called Hope Scholarships and preschool classes.