By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Despite concern about expanding competition from casinos, the Pennsylvania Lottery set another sales record in the just-ended fiscal year, a jump of 8½ percent from the previous year.

Not only was the Pennsylvania Lottery’s $3.48 billion in sales a record, but the $1.06 billion in profits was also a record, coming at a time when Gov. Tom Corbett has begun exploring the possible privatization of Lottery management in an effort to increase profits even more.

Lottery spokeswoman Allison Roberts says the increase in sales was fueled partly by better performance in the big jackpot games.

“Powerball grew by 29.7 percent, which we’re attributing to players being receptive to the enhancements we made to the game in January,” she said (see related story).

The other big jackpot game, Mega Millions, grew by almost 20 percent.

But perhaps the bigger story is the continuing growth in instant games.  Not only did the overall sales of instant games increase by more than 11 percent, but their share of overall Lottery sales grew to more than 61 percent.

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