The government have released the annual visa issuances for DV lottery cases along with some other categories. You can see the per country, regional and global totals at this link. The global number of visas issued were 49067. Remember this does not include DV cases processed in the USA by adjustment of status which is probably 1000 to 1500 more. So – the 50,000 limit was exceeded – and this explains why they put the brakes on at the end of the year.

Since they treated the 50,000 as a panic stop, I suspect they have always wanted to enforce 50,000, but have exceeded it in some years either as a deliberate decision (to use some NACARA visas) or simply through a lack of good controls/timely data. Going forward, I expect we will see 50,000 as the limit.

Egypt exceeded the 7% limit by a few cases. This is essentially a mistake. Nepal also was very close to the limit.