RICHMOND, Va. — At the end of the first half of the fiscal year 2019, the Virginia Lottery is already on pace for another record-setting year.

Virginia Lottery officials announced Wednesday that overall lottery sales in Virginia have totaled $1.16 billion from July through December. That's an increase of more than 10 percent from the same time last year.

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The lottery's fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30.

By law, all profits from the Virginia Lottery benefit K-12 education. The record sales for the first two quarters led to profits of $321 million, a 7-percent increase over the previous year.

“The Virginia Lottery represents good fun for a great cause, and our players are helping us build another record year of support for Virginia’s public schools,” said Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall. “We’re proud of the continuing popularity of our broad mix of games and prizes. We’re also seeing success in our efforts to use new technology to make our products more convenient and fun for consumers.”

Lottery players were lucky enough to take home a good chunk of change this year. Players took home a record $721.8 million in prize money, and retailers who sold the winning tickets earned a record $65.4 million in commission.

The lottery owes much of its record-setting pace is the Mega Millions jackpot in October that cumulated in a $1.537 billion jackpot. In Virginia, tickets were being sold at a rate of about 12,000 tickets per minute in the hours leading up to the drawing on October 23.