The West Virginia Lottery ended the just-completed budget year with an $81 million surplus, giving state revenues a surprising boost.
According to the Associated Press, lottery officials had forecast a 5 percent drop during the year that ended June 30, however, gross sales topped $1.4 billion for the year, or 9 percent more than expected.
Thousands of video slot machines at West Virginia's four racetracks provide the largest share of lottery proceeds.
West Virginia did better than expected despite competition from nearby Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Since competition is increasing, officials believed the current budget year will see lottery sales decline by more than 14 percent.
Lottery revenues fund the PROMISE college scholarship program. Proceeds also benefit other areas of education as well as tourism and programs for seniors.
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