Amidst rising costs for other consumer products, Lottery tickets have maintained their price tag and popularity, with the Louisiana Lottery recording its best fiscal year since 1993. With 2008 fiscal year-end revenue of $376.7 million, the Lottery transferred more than $131.8 million in proceeds to the state for the Minimum Foundation program that funds public education.

"The Louisiana Lottery takes pride in offering our players entertainment that still costs only a dollar and also benefits education," said Lottery President and CEO Rose Hudson. "We're proud to make a positive contribution to the state of Louisiana, while upholding the highest degree of integrity and public trust."

The Lottery credited much of its 2008 success to two new draw-style games featuring play action and prizes preferred by players. Last September, the Lottery introduced Easy 5, a match-5 lotto style game with a starting jackpot of $50,000 that rolls until it is won. In February, the Lottery launched its first raffle game, Millionaire Raffle, offering players the best odds ever of winning $1 million cash. Together these games accounted for approximately $16.9 million in new sales.

"It also didn't hurt that Powerball experienced four 'top-20' jackpots this fiscal year," explained Hudson. "What's more, three of the 13 Powerball jackpots won this year were claimed by Louisiana winners. High jackpots and awareness of local winners have always had a positive affect on sales."

On May 31, Emilia Delgado of Kenner won the $34.1 million Powerball jackpot. Four months earlier in January, Carl Hunter of Metairie won the $97 million jackpot, which was the largest single prize won in Louisiana Lottery history. In September of 2007,  William Heid Jr. of Chauvin won a $15 million Powerball jackpot.

Under state law, the treasury department receives 35 percent of every $1 Lottery sale. At least 50 percent is returned to players in the form of prizes and retailers receive at least 5 percent as commission on ticket sales. Less than 10 percent is retained by the Lottery for operating costs. The Louisiana Lottery ranks second in the nation for percentage of revenue transferred to its government among lotteries with traditional games, according to fiscal year 2007 industry data.

June's treasury transfer of $10,048,130 brought total fiscal year Lottery proceeds to their highest level in 14 years, which was a $14.5 million increase over budget.

Since the Lottery began operations in 1991, more than $5.62 billion in revenue has been generated primarily from ticket sales, and over $1.99 billion has been transferred to the state treasury department. Players have won more than $2.8 billion and retailers have earned over $302.3 million.

Also in 2008 and for the tenth consecutive year, the Louisiana Lottery received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada.

Lottery ticket purchasers must be at least 21 years of age. The Lottery encourages those concerned about a gambling problem to call toll-free 1-877-770-7867 for assistance.