State lottery officials, who have enjoyed strong sales in a struggling economy, expect next year to be a bit tougher.
In a conference call with members of the Lottery Commission this morning, lottery director Tom Shaheen said he and the lottery staff project next year's ticket sales will be down slightly from the current year. Shaheen said officials anticipate selling $1.252 billion worth of lottery tickets in the next fiscal year. If that projection holds, it would be a $16 million dollar decrease from the current year's $1.268 billion budget.
"I believe this is a responsible number," Shaheen told commissioners.
The lottery is on track to meet its sales projections for this year, which would raise $386 million for education programs. If next years projections hold — and Shaheen said it's hard to predict in such a volatile economy — the lottery would raise $376 million for education.
This year, even with high gas prices, the lottery enjoyed strong sales. Today, the lottery will make its quarterly transfer for education programs. The figure will be a record for the two-year-old lottery: $99 million.