The Florida Lottery has seen growth in the sales of instant tickets because of people buying new $50 scratch-off tickets, a lottery official said this week.
“When you look at all of our other price points in the last fiscal year, the $1, $2, $5, $20, and $30 games were all down a combined $733 million,” Justin Rock, the lottery’s deputy secretary of product and sales, said Wednesday during a meeting of the state Revenue Estimating Conference.
“The $50 accounted for $816 million (in sales) between March and July. So, it’s pretty exceptional to consider where all those dollars are coming from.”
The lottery introduced the $50 game in February, with the “500X The Cash” ticket offering a maximum prize of $25 million.
“We know the $50 cannibalized some sales, but primarily it cannibalized the $30 and the $20, maybe a little bit of the $10,” Rock said. “But you know that $50 price point is a very special player. It’s a small group of individuals playing that game.”
Sales for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which ended June 30, have not been posted. But the state saw lottery sales increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, setting a record $9.07 billion in sales during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Scratch-off sales accounted for $6.8 billion in sales.
In the news: Florida Sheriff Calls Out “Roadside Scammers” Using Young Girl With Cancer To Pocket Cash
A report for the 2019-2020 fiscal year listed overall sales at $7.51 billion, with scratch-off sales of $5.66 billion. Economists on the Revenue Estimating Conference debated Wednesday how the pandemic-related surge would level off as people with discretionary money seek other forms of entertainment.
But Holger Ciupalo, policy coordinator for the governor’s Office of Policy and Budget, said people playing instant-ticket games should be expected to keep playing.
“My assumption is that folks who have been hooked on scratch-off, once they’re there, stay there,” Ciupalo said. “It’s a habit. So, it takes a lot for somebody to not play (scratch-off) anymore.”