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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida Lottery ticket sales were $314 million above projections in the first half of the current fiscal year, but state economists anticipate a “pandemic-related” surge in sales to ease.

A panel known as the Revenue Estimating Conference bumped up projected ticket sales from $8.

41 billion to $8.95 billion for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which ends June 30, according to a report posted this week.

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But overall, the economists anticipate ticket sales will be lower this fiscal year than last year, as people with discretionary money find other forms of entertainment.

The forecast anticipates a $121.8 million decline in overall ticket sales this year and sales to be down an additional $51 million during the 2022-2023 fiscal year, which will start July 1. After that, “ticket sales for each year will grow between 1.1 to 2.2 percent, largely driven by population growth,” the report said.

As COVID-19 pummeled the state in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the lottery set a record of $9.076 billion in sales. The sales total is expected to drop to about $8.954 billion this year, according to the new forecast. The 2020-2021 total was bolstered by $6.8 billion in scratch-off ticket sales, according to the agency in August.

The new forecast for the 2021-2022 fiscal year got a boost from higher-than-expected sales of scratch-off tickets and Powerball tickets, which were aided by two large jackpots.

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This week the Florida Lottery marked its 34th year of operation.

Since 1988, a portion of every lottery ticket sold has gone to Florida schools and students.

Since its inception, the Florida Lottery has contributed more than $40 billion to the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, including more than $1 billion annually for each of the past 20 consecutive years. During its fiscal 2020-2021 year, it exceeded $2 billion, shattering all previous fiscal year records.

The Florida Lottery is also the primary funding source for the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. It has enabled more than 917,000 students to attend college since the program’s inception in 1997.

CBS4 is your official Florida Lottery station.

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(©2022 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)

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The pandemic has been great for electric car sales

London (CNN Business)Electric vehicles grabbed a much bigger share of the global car market last year as sales more than doubled despite turbulent economic conditions and a severe shortage of computer chips.

Global sales of battery electric vehicles increased to 4.5 million last year from 2.1 million in 2020, according to data from consultancy LMC Automotive. Electric cars made up 6.3% of global vehicle sales in 2021, tripling their market share from 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.Overall passenger vehicle sales remain depressed, with just under 72 million rolling off dealer lots worldwide after the pandemic caused a shortage of computer chips that forced many automakers to temporarily close plants. More than 80 million passenger vehicles were sold in 2019.
    Al Bedwell, director of global powertrain at LMC Automotive, told CNN Business that the chip shortage "perversely sort of helped" boost electric vehicle sales.
      "Certainly, in Europe and certainly in China ... very often it was the low emission, new generation of electric vehicles that got prioritized, because they're the ones that were needed," he said. Consumers wanted to buy electric cars, and automakers needed to sell them to meet regulatory targets, he added. Read More"It was a prime opportunity I think for the industry to focus on those," said Bedwell.Carrot and stickGovernments have increased pressure on automakers to slash carbon emissions and shift production towards electric vehicles, sometimes with a carrot — by offering emissions credits for electric vehicles or paying for charging points — but also with a stick.The European Union, for example, will fine automakers if they fail to cut average yearly emissions of their fleets by 15% by 2025, and up to 37.5% by 2030 compared to 2021 levels. It wants to raise this to a 55% reduction under far more ambitious proposals adopted last July. From 2035, the bloc wants to impose an effective ban on the sale of vehicles powered by fossil fuels.Governments have also tried to entice consumers with subsidies and tax breaks. Last year, Germany extended a €9,000 ($10,000) bonus for new electric vehicles up to €40,000 ($45,000) for another four years. The country more than doubled its share of electric vehicle sales in 2021 to 14%. Dan Ives, equity analyst at Wedbush Securities, told CNN Business that subsidies have been a "clear tailwind" boosting electric car sales in Europe and China, estimating they had "positively influenced roughly 15% of EV sales over the last year." The final month of 2021 may have offered a glimpse into the future.Electric vehicles snatched 10% of global market share in December, according to LMC Automotive data. The same month, more electric vehicles were sold in Western Europe than diesel cars for the first time, according to data covering 18 markets compiled by Matthias Schmidt, publisher of the European Electric Car Market Intelligence Study.GM unveils electric Chevrolet Silverado with 400 miles of rangeBumper figures for December are likely a "distortion," Bedwell said, and probably won't be replicated in the early months of 2022. That's because automakers would have been pushing to sell lots of electric cars in the final month of the year in order to meet CO2 reduction targets. "It's going to take a few more years before we see those kind of shares of electric vehicles widely across the region each year," Bedwell added. America still has a long way to goThe United States is trailing behind some other large economies.While electric vehicles charged ahead last year in Europe and China, taking 10% and 12% of market share respectively, electrics accounted for just 3% of US sales. Weaker emissions targets coupled with a greater reluctance among American consumers to embrace electric vehicles have put considerable distance between the United States and its rivals. Boosting sales will require a shift in mindset. It sure looks like GM is about to pull the plug on the Bolt"You're asking [consumers] to adapt to a whole different thing. It's not just [that] they go to a different type of gas station," Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds, told CNN Business. "They have to plan out their route, they have to figure out if they want to install a charger in their home." China is different, said Caldwell."There's a lot of first time car owners ... it's not as if they're on their fifth, sixth, seventh vehicle and they've kind of stuck to the same routine," she said. Ives said that 2022 could mark a turning point for the United States as "Ford, GM, Rivian and others follow Tesla aggressively going after the EV market." He predicts that electric vehicle sales in the country will reach 10% of the market by 2025. Tesla is 'impossible to catch'The world's automakers are investing tens of billions of dollars in the electric vehicle race, with a slew of new models expected to come to market in 2022. Tesla's Model 3 topped global electric vehicle sales in 2021, moving about 540,000 units, according to LMC Automotive. The company, which briefly hit a $1 trillion valuation in October — one of only six US companies to do so — delivered a record 936,000 cars for the year, an 87% increase over 2020. Ives doesn't expect Tesla (TSLA) or CEO Elon Musk to give up the crown anytime soon."The company has an iron clad grip on the EV market globally and has the brand, capacity, battery technology and innovation under Musk that makes them almost impossible to catch," he said. The ID.3 at Volkswagen headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, on Friday, March 26, 2021. That doesn't mean Tesla won't have challengers. Volkswagen Group (VLKAF) delivered 453,000 electric vehicles in 2021, almost double its 2020 figure. The owner of brands including Porsche, Audi and Skoda has committed to spending more than $100 billion over the next five years to electrify its fleet. The group is already the market leader in Europe.Chinese carmakers are also moving up a gear. The Hong Guang Mini EV, the $4,400 pint-sized car made by a partnership between SAIC, GM (GM) and Wuling, topped sales in China last year, and came second globally, LMC Automotive data shows. The road aheadElectric cars still have a long way to go.Sales of electric vehicles are expected to rise 75% to more than 8 million in 2022, according to a UBS forecast. Bedwell predicts that electric cars will account for more than 60% of vehicle sales in France, Germany and the United Kingdom by the end of the decade. China and the United States will lag behind at roughly 35%, he said. That means there's still plenty to play for.
        "I don't feel like anyone necessarily is out of the race yet, because it's still fairly early on," Caldwell said of the US market."It's not like someone has it in the bag."

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