MARYLAND (WJZ) — Maryland Lottery and Gaming announced that traditional lottery ticket sales and the state’s six casinos combined to contribute $1.252 billion to Maryland’s economy.

The combined total of $1.252 billion in state contributions is a 12.1 percent increase from the previous record of $1.117 billion in the fiscal year 2017. However, this year marked the first time that all six casinos operated for the full fiscal year.

The Maryland Lottery made history with sales surpassing $2 billion for the first time. The sales fueled an all-time record of $1.247 billion in prizes paid to players, which is a 4.2 percent increase from the previous fiscal year.

New records were also established for retailer commissions and scratch-off ticket sales.

The lottery’s most popular game, Pick 4, set an all-time sales record of $296.2 million. Racetrax, a computer-animated horse racing game set an all-time sales record of close to $2 million.

The state’s casinos beat last year’s total figure by 18.2 percent, totaling $1.679 billion for gaming revenue. The revenue contributed $676.7 million to the state, including $496.7 million to the Maryland Education Trust Fund.

“The contribution of nearly half a billion dollars to the Education Trust Fund is a tremendous benefit to our state and our schools,” Governor Larry Hogan said. “We must take action to ensure that these funds supplement and not supplant educational funding.”

Since the state’s first casino opened in 2010, more than $2.4 billion has gone to the Education Trust Fund.

The money from lottery ticket sales and the state’s casinos not only goes towards Maryland’s education, but also public health and safety, the environment, veterans’ organizations, the state’s horse racing industry and more.

The six casinos employ more than 7,700 people, including more than 6,200 full-time employees.

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Grace Clark (WJZ Intern) contributed to this article.  

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