PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The state of Oregon is nearly $909 million richer thanks to the return from the Oregon Lottery’s 2022 fiscal year. The state has not seen a return of this magnitude since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Oregon Lottery also recorded year-over-year growth of 81%. According to its 2021 annual financial report, $502,907,148 was paid to economic development last year.

The lottery is self-financed through ticket and game purchases. Then, voters and the Legislature determine where the revenue goes. Lottery dollars have directly supported programs such as state parks, natural habitats, public schools and veteran services.

The World Lottery Association recognized the Oregon Lottery for its commitment to responsible play. It was one of eight American lotteries that received the highest certification level from the WLA’s Responsible Gaming Framework.

“Lottery funds are dedicated to support some of Oregonians’ most treasured programs,” Oregon Lottery Director Barry Pack said. “The sales rebound this year shows our players continue to find relevancy in our games and value the reliable revenue they provide to help make our state a great place to live.”

This financial year, which ran from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, lottery winners received payouts of nearly $16 billion in total. The total prizes won make up about 91% of the lottery dollars played.

Additionally, Oregon business owners benefited from the previous fiscal year’s lottery sales. The 3,800 retailers across the state who sold lottery tickets or games earned a commission of $313 million overall.

The Oregon Lottery will post its comprehensive 2022 annual financial report soon.