Texas Lottery announces record $5B in fiscal 2016 sales

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Lottery has topped more than $5 billion in annual sales for the first time since the various games began in 1992.

Lottery officials on Thursday announced the figure for sales during fiscal 2016. Records show statewide lottery game sales in fiscal 2015 exceeded $4.5 billion.

Authorities say this year’s lottery sales will lead to nearly $1.4 billion contributed to Texas. The bulk of the funds will benefit public education — going to the Foundation School Fund. Nearly $15 million is earmarked for assisting veterans.

Records show players collected $3.27 billion in prizes this fiscal year, marking the highest amount of prizes paid out in Texas Lottery history.