INDIANAPOLIS — The Hoosier Lottery hit the jackpot over the past few months with massive MegaMillions and Powerball prizes leading to similarly massive ticket purchases by Indiana lottery players.
Between July 1 and Oct. 31, Hoosiers bought $44.8 million worth of MegaMillions tickets as the jackpot for the nationwide draw game grew to more than $1.5 billion, according to data recently presented to the State Lottery Commission.
That was $31.8 million — or 244 percent — more in MegaMillions ticket sales than Indiana saw during the same four-month period last year.
It also was $28.7 million, or 179 percent, greater than the MegaMillions revenue anticipated by the Hoosier Lottery sales forecast.
A Powerball run to a $688 million jackpot during the same period pushed Indiana ticket sales to $36.3 million for the first third of the budget year, which was $5.1 million, or 16.2 percent, above the lottery's anticipated Powerball revenue.
At the same time, Indiana Powerball sales were down $7.5 million, or 17.1 percent, compared to July-Oct. 2017, when an even larger $759 million Powerball jackpot was in play.
The MegaMillions jackpot was won Oct. 23 on a ticket sold in South Carolina. The winning Oct. 27 Powerball tickets were sold in Iowa and New York.
But Indiana still stands to benefit from the jackpot runs.
Sarah Taylor, Hoosier Lottery executive director, said the increased MegaMillions and Powerball sales prompted the lottery to boost its projected annual profit payment to the state to $303 million, a 1.3 percent increase.
"This revenue is transferred to the state of Indiana to support teacher, firefighter and police officer pensions, and reduce auto excise taxes," Taylor said.
Lottery commission data show most of the other Hoosier Lottery draw games this year also are exceeding anticipated revenue, including Hoosier Lotto, Daily 3, Daily 4, Quick Draw, Cash4Life and Fast Play.
The lottery's scratch game ticket revenue of $317.3 million between July and October was slightly below expectations, but it still was nearly 10 percent ahead of the same period last year.