Through July 23, the lottery reported $7.343 billion in sales, a slight increase from $7.304 billion at the same time last fiscal year. Sales in 2020 amounted to $5.985 billion at the 47-week mark. Sales figures for last week have not been fully updated on the commission’s website.
The sums include totals for both scratch tickets and draw games.
In a statement to The Texan, TLC Executive Director Gary Grief said the lottery’s sales totaled $264 million last week.
“Sales for last week’s Mega Millions drawings catapulted the Texas Lottery to a new all-time record for total sales in a single week,” Grief said.
“The uptick in sales from the recent estimated $1.33 billion Mega Millions jackpot and the continued success of the $100 scratch ticket game [$20 Million Supreme] have the Texas Lottery on pace to break last year’s record sales total, barring anything unforeseen occurring in the final month of the fiscal year.”
In Fiscal Year 2021, the commission reported its highest sales figure since the late Governor Ann Richards bought the first lottery ticket in 1992.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the locations where lottery tickets are sold were deemed “essential” under the various disaster orders implemented at the time.
The Illinois Lottery sold the winning Mega Millions lottery ticket at a gas station in Des Plaines, Illinois. The cash value is projected to be $780.5 million. 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands participate in the game.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302.5 million.
As the state benefits from the lottery, most other forms of gambling are prohibited by the Texas Constitution and state law.
Proponents of expanding gambling in Texas are seeking constitutional amendments to permit a limited number of casinos and a legal sports betting market. Texas is one of the last states that has not legalized sports wagering.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided in 2018 that legalizing sportsbooks is in line with federal law, clearing the way for states to set up their own regulatory schemes for sports betting.
Critics fear a negative impact on the state’s economy and an increase in gambling addictions, among other social concerns.
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Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."