Power Play: Lottery Sales Soared in Lynn in 2021

Barry Calvani doesn’t have to look at the final figures to know that the Massachusetts State Lottery was a smashing success in Lynn in 2021.

Calvani, owner of Cal’s News, a Lottery agent since 1972, saw first-hand a steady influx of Lottery customers and an increase in Lottery sales at the popular family-operated store where Calvani’s grandfather first started selling newspapers in 1937.

Barry Calvani, owner of Cal’s News, displays some of the popular $30 Instant Tickets that are sold at his store.

“My lottery numbers were certainly up,” said Calvani.

Data provided by the Mass. State Lottery Commission shows that Lynn had $111.5 million in Lottery sales in 2021, an 11.4 increase from the previous year.

Calvani attributed the increase in sales to several factors after talking with customers.

“I just think a lot of people had a little more disposable income because they weren’t dining out with the frequency that they used to,” said Calvani. “And they were looking for ways to pass the long days during COVID.”

Calvani said the large jackpots in Powerball and Mega Millions also generated extra ticket sales. “Having those huge, hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-jackpots and having that extra drawing day (Monday, in addition to Wednesday and Saturday) in Powerball definitely gives you a shot in the arm for business,” said Calvani.

Mass Cash, a daily game with a potential jackpot of $100,000, also remains very popular among Lottery players.

“Mass Cash is solid, the best game the Lottery has ever had,” said Calvani. “It’s your best shot at winning $100,000.”

Calvani said some of the newer and seasonal Instant Tickets have also proven to be favorites among Lottery players. “The $10 Holiday Cash Blowout was very popular,” said Calvani. “When the Lottery has those games where the maximum prize is $500, it just seems like the tickets are stuffed with $50, $100, and $500 winners. People like those a lot.”

State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, Lottery Executive Director Michael Sweeney, and the entire Lottery team drew praise from Calvani. Many in the industry consider the Mass Lottery the nation’s most successful lottery.

“The Mass Lottery does a great job with promotions, marketing, and it’s such a professionally run operation,” said Calvani. “My courier is great. He visits the store often and brings me promotional materials and supplies. He really keeps me up-to-date with the goings-on of the Lottery.”

Statewide during the 2021 fiscal year, the Lottery produced $1.112 billion in net profit for the Commonwealth. Lottery revenues came in at a record high of $5.829 billion, the seventh consecutive year that revenues have eclipsed the $5 billion mark.

“With record-setting figures across the board, Lottery players, our retail partners, and the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts are all winners,” said Sweeney.

Calvani is anticipating an even better year for the Lottery in Lynn in 2022. Last year, seven different Lottery players won $1 million prizes at local stores.

He thanked his own staff for its assistance to customers and congenial interactions with Lottery players.

“I’ve been very blessed that everyone here has remained pretty healthy, and my guys have stood shoulder-to-shoulder through all of this stuff. I’m very, very blessed in that regard,” said Calvani.

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