Lottery expects greater ticket sales this year

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico lottery officials are forecasting stronger than expected ticket sales this year, which will help a college scholarship program.

The lottery said Tuesday ticket sales in the current budget year are expected to reach about $135 million.

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 earmark liquor tax money for scholarships in the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years.

A spokesman for Gov. Susana Martinez said the governor plans to use her line-item veto powers to fix a wording error in the legislation that could have forced students to wait an extra semester to get a scholarship.

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