As the Powerball drawing payout climbed to record-breaking numbers in the days preceding last week’s election, state lotteries across the country benefited from a surge in ticket sales, including Indiana’s own Hoosier Lottery.
A winner in the $2.04 billion drawing last week hasn’t been identified, though a service station in California reported selling the winning ticket last Tuesday. Powerball winners in California are considered public record and cannot remain anonymous, but officials can take months to publish that information. Winners in Indiana can remain anonymous if they use a limited liability corporation or legal trust to collect the winnings.
Forty-five states, plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, participate in the Powerball, with drawings held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. A drawing with no winner rolls over to the next, increasing the next payout.
Specific sales numbers couldn’t be released prior to commission review, but Jared Bond, the director of external affairs for Hoosier Lottery, said sales increased 124% the first week of November over the last week of October.
The State Lottery Commission is scheduled to meet and release sales numbers on Dec. 6, Bond said.
Bond said interest in the Powerball bled over to other lottery offerings, with increased sales in Scratch-offs, Fast Play and other Draw game purchases.
The Multi-State Lottery Association, whose 38 members include 35 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, said Tuesday that sales nationwide are jackpot-driven, with interest generally picking up once an advertised jackpot reaches $500 million.
Nationally, the organization said sales for the Monday, Nov. 7 Powerball drawing were 109.57% higher than the previous Monday. Their membership includes the Hoosier Lottery.
One Hoosier near Merrillville came close to getting the Powerball, clinching the game’s second-highest prize of $1 million. The Times of Northwest Indiana reported the winning ticket matched the drawing’s five white balls but not the red Powerball.
Bond shared that Hoosiers reaped more than $14 million in non-jackpot prizes, including two $1 million winners, one $150,000 winner, four $100,000 winners and 16 $50,000 winners.
In Indiana, like all states, half of the money from each ticket sold goes to the Prize Pool, which is paid out to the winners. The Multi-State Lottery Association maintains that as a “50/50 game,” 50% of each $2 ticket should stay in the (state) jurisdiction where the ticket was sold.
Hoosier Lottery uses the remainder to cover operational costs and transfers the surplus revenue to the state.
The surplus revenue, according to code, is designated to fund retirement funds for public employees and teachers, up to $30 million for each.
The Lottery Surplus Fund reduces the motor vehicle excise tax for Hoosier drivers, with funds contributed on a monthly basis. According to last year’s annual report from the Hoosier Lottery, that fund reached $314,855,713 in the 2021 fiscal year.
If any monies remain at the end of the year, those are deposited into the Build Indiana Fund, which contributes to various causes including public broadcasting and Higher Education Technology projects, as outlined by the state.
The entity’s annual report also reported that, since its inception in 1989, 61.2% of its payments were spent on winnings to players, over $15.9 billion. Just $1.6 billion was spent on operating expenses, comparable to the nearly $1.8 billion paid to the state’s 4,400 lottery retailers.
The 2021 fiscal year was the organization’s most profitable, setting a record of $1.74 billion in lottery ticket sales.
The Hoosier Lottery reported $1.43 billion in ticket sales between July 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022, falling $15.8 million, 1.1%, short of the same 10-month period one year earlier, as reported by the Times of Northwest Indiana earlier this year.
IGT Indiana, the company that has managed sales and marketing for the Hoosier Lottery for nearly a decade, qualifies for incentive payments if revenues reach a certain threshold. Should revenues surpass $329 million this year, IGT Indiana will qualify to split that funding with the state.
The Indiana Capital Chronicle is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that covers state government, policy and elections.