Aug 26, 2017

Follow the money: where lottery ticket money goes

Mike Brum looks at a display advertising lottery tickets for sale Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, in Fremont, Calif. AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The winner of a record lottery jackpot, $758.7 million, was announced on Thursday. And while Mavis Wanczyk is walking away with a lump sum of $480.5 million, CNN reports that 9.4 million other people had winning numbers as well, some even collecting $1-2 million.

A separate CNN report reveals that last year, Americans spent $73.5 billion on physical lottery tickets, and $80 billion on electronic lottery games. Sixty-three percent of that money was paid out in the form of prizes, but the other 37 percent went to state and local governments. Here's the breakdown:

  • Education: ~$16.7 billion
  • State general funds: $2.5 billion
  • Social programs: $1.3 billion
  • Retailer commission: $6 billion
  • Administrative fees: ~$6 billion
  • State programs for "problem gamblers:" $20 million
  • Other government programs: $1.7 billion
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