Oct 19, 2014 2:26 PM by News Staff
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California Lottery officials say they have had a winning year with annual ticket sales surpassing $5 billion for the first time in the state lottery's 30-year history.
Acting Lottery Director Paula LaBrie reported Friday that lottery sales increased by $588 million, a little more than 13 percent, during the fiscal year that ended in June. She attributed the growth partly to Californians clamoring to win big jackpots that had built up in the Mega Millions and newly introduced Powerball games.
Despite the long odds of winning the lottery, the agency says nearly $22 million in winnings went unclaimed.
The state controller announced earlier this month that more than $1.3 billion of the lottery's proceeds went to schools, colleges and state educational agencies.
Lottery ticket sales have gone up in California in each of the last five fiscal years.
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