ALBUQUERQUE – The New Mexico Lottery beat both its sales goal and its revenue goal for Fiscal Year 2014.
Money raised for college students came to $40.9 million, beating a projection by $1.5 million. It represents a return of 30.1 percent.
Ticket sales were $136 million, beating a target by $4.6 million.
“We took many new approaches this year to win our players’ business, and players liked what they saw,” said Dan Salzwedel, chairman of the lottery’s board of directors. “Our partnership with players, retailers and the legislative community continues to make it possible for our children to focus on their studies rather than on finding money to pay for tuition.”
Although the national Powerball® game didn’t reach the big jackpots that drive big sales, Salzwedel said players came out for a $648 million Mega Millions® jackpot and a record $890,000 Roadrunner Cash™ jackpot. Sales from both drawing games were better than expected.
Scratcher™ Sales Jump in Fourth Quarter
Thanks to a strong fourth quarter, Scratcher sales were $900,000 higher than projected.
Salzwedel said the upward trend is the result of sales strategies developed by newly hired CEO David Barden. The strategies include the “Super Tuesday” campaign, which launches three to five new Scratchers at the beginning of each month. As a result, the availability of new games is now predictable to both stores and players and the lottery can better coordinate and integrate marketing activities for better reach and recall.
Barden also changed the lottery’s advertising mix. Ads now run on the music-streaming service Pandora, transit buses and grocery “in-store” radio. Scratcher tickets themselves now include “call outs” that advertise the prize total from that specific game. To increase the exposure of games on network and cable television, Barden filled a vacant position with an animator to quickly and inexpensively produce advertising content from a desktop computer.
“We are on a path of continuous improvement,” Salzwedel said. “We are using our limited resources better than ever before for the students of New Mexico.”
Sales and Forecasts by Product
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Sylvia Jaramillo, the lottery’s chief financial officer, said a lack of attention-grabbing Powerball jackpots prevented the lottery from reaching last year’s sales of $141.8 million. In Fiscal Year 2013, Powerball sales jumped 38.4 percent ($13 million) when the game reached record-high jackpots of $587.5 million and $590.5 million. In Fiscal Year 2014, the best Powerball jackpot came to $448.4 million.
In Fiscal Year 2014, prizes totaled $74.1 million, including a $7.6 million Hot Lotto® jackpot won by Doug Barnard of Rio Rancho. Retailers earned $8.8 million for selling tickets and cashing prizes.
In February, the lottery reached a fundraising milestone by passing the mark of $600 million.
Since its inception in 1996, the lottery has raised a total of $613.4 million for education in New Mexico. More than 90,000 students have attended college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships, of which 43,400 students have already earned their college degrees.
More information about Legislative Lottery Scholarships is available at www.nmlottery.com.