Washington Lottery Surpasses $1 Billion in Annual Sales

By | July 19, 2023


It’s usually lottery players who get to celebrate big dollar wins, but now the staff at Washington’s Lottery had two of their own big money achievements to commemorate on behalf of the state and those who benefit from lottery proceeds:

  • For the first time ever, Washington’s Lottery has surpassed $1 billion in annual sales, and,
  • With that record sales number, Washington’s Lottery will also set another record for the most money contributed to its beneficiaries during a single year, when its disbursements go out later this year. The Lottery’s primary beneficiary is the Washington Opportunity Pathways Account, which funds early childhood education, college grants, and other vital education programs across the state.

“We’ve been celebrating our 40th anniversary all year long, but this is definitely icing on the cake. Our mission is simple: generate sales that grow contributions to our beneficiaries, so being able to hit records on both fronts is truly incredible. This means more money for college scholarships, more for early childhood education, more for economic development, more to combat problem gambling and more for other important state projects. It’s really fulfilling for all of us here at Washington’s Lottery to know that we had a hand in helping make those things happen,” said Joshua Johnston, acting director of Washington’s Lottery.

The billion-dollar mark was not a foregone conclusion by any means. Washington’s Lottery hit that milestone with just 30 hours to go in the state’s fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2023.

While exact numbers for the historic beneficiary contributions and sales won’t be released until they’re audited, the previous sales record was $953.4 million, set in 2021, and the contributions record was $229 million, also set in 2021.

Other notable milestones, achievements and stories that happened during the Lottery’s 40th anniversary year include:

  • Auburn’s Becky Bell was the sole winner of the $754.6 million Powerball jackpot, the fifth largest in history.
  • A Lynnwood couple playing HIT5 thought they won $360 but actually won $360,000.
  • A retired Navy Chief from Stanwood picked a Scratch ticket because “it looked pretty interesting” and won $1.5 million.
  • A father gave his 18-year-old son a lottery ticket as a high school graduation present and it ended up winning him $50,000.
  • A Seattle man tried playing a game he’d never tried before, didn’t win, but decided to give the game one more chance…and won $595,000.
  • A convenience store operated by Chehalis Tribe Enterprises in Rochester, sold an $8.6 million Lotto prize, one of the largest ever for this in-state game.
  • Washington’s Lottery began accepting debit cards in its Lottery Vending Machines, deploying the technology to thousands of terminals across the state.

“It’s been a terrific year for Washington’s Lottery and our beneficiaries. Everyone here is really proud and motivated to see what we can do in the year to come,” added Johnston.

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