Michigan lottery ticket sales up despite economy

LANSING, MI – Officials say the Michigan Lottery is thriving despite the economic recession.

According to unofficial figures cited by the Detroit Free Press, the state lottery saw a 2 percent increase in ticket sales from Oct. 1, 2008, through Sept. 30, with $2.3 billion in total sales.

Lottery spokeswoman Andrea Brancato says hefty jackpots played a role in the rise in ticket sales, including large jackpots for the multistate Mega Millions game.

Lottery profits totaling $722 million went to the School Aid Fund in fiscal year 2009.

Brancato says the lottery paid out $1.4 billion in prizes.