New York’s lottery hit the jackpot in 2012, reaching a record-breaking $9.1 billion in sales and revenue, Gannett Albany Bureau reported over the weekend.
The windfall for the state Lottery Division is the result of huge, multi-state Powerball jackpots last year and a full year of operations at the state’s largest gambling hall, Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, state records showed.
Sales from traditional lottery games and revenue from the state’s nine video-lottery facilities increased 12 percent over 2011. It was $8.1 billion in 2011, the Lottery Division said.
“We’re very pleased to have set a calendar year sales record for 2012, and equally proud of the significant contribution we make to support New York’s schools,” said state Lottery Director Robert Williams in a statement to Gannett’s Albany Bureau. “We look forward to continuing our record of success in the future.”
Sales of Powerball, which is sold in 42 states, soared 80 percent between 2011 and 2012 in New York, fueled by several major jackpots — including a record $587 million one last November. Powerball sales in New York increased from $258 million to $465 million.
New York, like most states, has increased gambling options amid economic downturns. In 2001, after the 9/11 attacks, the state legalized up to six Indian casinos and video-lottery terminals at racetracks.