Alongside Sports Betting, TN Lottery Eclipses $2 Billion In Sales For First Time Ever

The Tennessee Education Lottery has eclipsed $2 billion in total revenue for the fiscal year that ends at the conclusion of this month, the agency said late last week.

It’s the first time ever that sales exceeded $2 billion.

According to the TEL, the performance was highlighted by second quarter instant game sales of $399.5 million, the most for any second quarter since the state lottery began in January 2004. The results also accompany a major expansion of gambling in the state.

Sports betting in mix didn’t slow down lottery

The TEL approved the launch of online sports betting in November, and through April the sportsbooks handled $1.07 billion in wagers, according to figures from the TEL compiled by Sports Handle. The books reported revenue of $93.8 million during the six-month period.

The Volunteer State doesn’t allow lottery games to be played or tickets to be bought over the internet.

“This has been quite the year in many ways, but our mission remains the same: to raise funds for the designated education programs we fund,” TEL President and CEO Rebecca Paul Hargrove said in a statement last week. “This is a great day for students across Tennessee, and we look forward to announcing our fiscal year totals in mid-July.”

Lottery sales in FY 2020 were $1.84 billion, according to a state report. The official tally for FY 2021 isn’t yet in the books, but based on what we know sales were up at least 8.7% year-over-year.

Sales in FY 2019 were $1.812 billion. The growth between FY 2019 and FY 2020 was 1.5%, so the TEL did very well during the COVID-19 era. Federal stimulus money provided to the public likely played some role.

The state of Tennessee had relatively light COVID-19 stay-at-home rules compared to some other states during the height of the pandemic in 2020.

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