State Lotteries Essential to Education
Each year state governments pay out vast sums of money to lotto jackpot winners. Last year over $42 billion in prize money was paid out including one jackpot worth $587 million.
The amount paid out varies from state to state with the larger states generally selling more tickets and paying out more money.
However, state lotteries are also a vital source of income for the government, in 2012 lotteries raised $18.7 billion, up from $16.7 billion in 2009.
The increase in lottery sales benefits government programs with most states funnelling profits to educational programs. Some states, such as New York and California, dedicated all of the lottery products to education.
Ohio has one of the largest lottery businesses. Last year it paid out $1.7 billion in prizes, sold $2.8 billion worth of tickets and made a profit of $771 million.
The state dedicated over $700 million of the lottery proceeds to education for the fourth year in a row. Since the state lottery began in 1974 it has provided over $17 billion to education initiatives.