Know What You Play For: Where Lottery Funds Go in These 5 States

Shutterstock / Kriang Kan

When you play the lottery, it’s not only for your benefit — you’re also giving back to all of the people in your state who are directly impacted by lottery funding. Here are some of the ways lottery funding supports social causes across the United States:

Minnesota

Shutterstock / Jacob Lund

In the 2016 fiscal year, more than $2.6 million in lottery funding contributed to a variety of public projects benefiting the state of Minnesota. For every dollar spent on lottery tickets in the North Star State, 13 cents go to the General Fund (which includes education and public safety), 6.5 cents go to environmental protection programs, and 4.6 cents go to other public resources like zoos, parks, and trails.

One such lottery-funded project is the Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventure, which focuses on “place-based education” and takes students out of the classroom to engage with the outdoors and their own communities. This hands-on experience focuses on team building and leadership skills. Lottery funding helped buy locally-made canoes for the project.

Ohio

Shutterstock / Andrey Popov

The Ohio Lottery places all net proceeds into a state treasury that in turn distributes them among a variety of educational programs. These funds are divided between elementary, secondary, vocational, and special education programs. The state lottery has also established an “Academic All Stars” and “Teacher of the Month” award to promote the good work being done in Ohio schools.

In 2016 alone, the Ohio State Lottery provided $1.06 billion in funding to education programs — a staggering $76.1 million increase from the previous year. Since its creation in 1974, the state lottery has given more than $22 billion to state education funds.

Arizona

Shutterstock / SnvvSnvvSnvv

In Arizona, lottery funding is split between various social initiatives that impact residents across the state. In the 2015 fiscal year, $22.2 million in lottery funds went to education, $10.6 million went to human services (such as the Healthy Families program), $14.9 million went to economic and business development, and $10 million went to environmental protection and education.

The state lottery also contributes to the Arizona Competes Fund which supports the Arizona Commerce Authority by providing grants to established state-based enterprises and business development initiatives.

North Dakota

Shutterstock / Tom Reichner

Like many states, North Dakota has a systematic breakdown that shows where every dollar brought in by the state lottery should be allocated. Some unique highlights include: 1% to an addiction treatment fund and 2% to a multi-jurisdictional drug task force fund. Unsurprisingly, 22% of funding directly supports the State General Fund to assist with big ticket items like education.

2015 was a record-setting year for the North Dakota lottery — a whopping $6.1 million went to the State General Fund.

New Hampshire

Shutterstock / Laura Stone

Education is the primary benefactor of New Hampshire’s state lottery funding. In total, 25% of lottery proceeds go to education. To date, more than $1.7 billion has been provided to academic programs across the state.

When the New Hampshire State Lottery was first established, there was no sales or state income tax, so the lottery funding swooped in to save the day when the educational system needed support. The state lottery has been contributing to educational funding since 1964.

The American lottery has a long history of funding social, cultural, and economic projects, which means that when you buy a ticket, you are buying into the well-being of your country. What’s even better than contributing to your community, state, or country when you buy a lottery ticket? Contributing for free when you sign up for the Lottery.com app and receiving a complimentary Powerball ticket on your smartphone or tablet.