Lottery expects greater ticket sales this year

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico lottery officials are forecasting stronger than expected ticket sales this year, which will generate more revenue for a college scholarship program.

The lottery said Tuesday that ticket sales in the current budget year are expected to reach about $135 million, which is nearly $4 million higher than initial projections.

That would mean the lottery should provide $40.6 million for the scholarship program rather than $39.4 million as originally anticipated.

The scholarship program faces financial problems because lottery revenue isn't keeping pace with rising tuition.

The Legislature approved a measure to use liquor tax money to help pay for scholarships in the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years. A budget passed by lawmakers provides nearly $14 million to shore up the program this year and $11.5 million for next year.

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