Long-time employee Mary Harville becomes Kentucky Lottery’s first female CEO

Long-time employee Mary Harville becomes Kentucky Lottery’s first female CEO

Government-regulated Kentucky Lottery Corporation has announced that its senior vice president and general counsel Mary Harville has been promoted to the position of chief executive officer (CEO). Ms. Harville ascended to the top position after Governor Andy Beshear appointed her, and the corporation’s Board of Directors ratified the appointment during a recently-held special meeting. She got promoted to the position of the chief executive after serving the lottery giant as senior vice president and general counsel for sixteen years. Before that she served a Louisville-headquartered law firm as an attorney for more than one and a half decade.

Ms. Harville, who filled the vacancy created by the retirement of Tom Delacenserie, has become the first female executive to lead the Kentucky Lottery as its chief executive. Mr. Delacenserie stepped down from the position in March this year after serving as chief executive for more than three years.

Mark Sommer, chairman of the Kentucky Lottery Board, said, “Based upon her many years of senior leadership with the Kentucky Lottery, as Board Chair I can confidently assert that Mary’s selection as CEO is a wonderful step in keeping the Kentucky Lottery moving forward to new and bigger heights.”

When asked for a comment on her appointment, Ms. Harville said that being a graduate of a Kentucky university and a resident of the state, she was proud to lead the lottery giant that funds the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) program scholarships for Kentucky college students. She stressed that her goal was to ensure that the much-needed funding continued to be provided.

The Kentucky Lottery has, for some time, been enjoying an unprecedented pace of growth. During the financial year of 2019-20, the state-regulated lottery generated $1.2 billion in sales. The figure represents an increase of 6.2 per cent from the previous fiscal year. It was also considerably higher than the previous record of set in the year of 2019.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the lottery giant continued to enjoy a strong business so far this fiscal. In August, it announced sales of $124.4 million for the month of July, up 45.9 per cent from the corresponding period of 2019. Sales of scratch-off games jumped 51.8 per cent to $77.5 million, while online lottery sales skyrocketed to settle at $6.4 million. Most of the growth was fueled by online lottery sales that jumped a whopping 304.8 per cent in July from the corresponding period of 2019.