Florida Lottery hits landmark $25 billion for education

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The Florida Lottery announced Monday that it reached a record $25 billion in transfers to Florida’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, having contributed more than $1 billion annually toward public education over the past 10 consecutive fiscal years.

In 1986, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment by a two-to-one margin, authorizing the state to operate a lottery to generate additional education funding. More than half of these dollars contribute to K-12 program in all 67 school districts, while the remainder go toward community colleges, state universities, Bright Futures Scholarships, other state financial aid, and the construction and maintenance of public schools.

Over the past 25 years, the Lotto has funded more than 600,000 Bright Future Scholarships and 780 statewide school projects.  During the same time it has awarded more than $37 billion in prize money, has made more than 1,200 millionaires.  This boils down to about 30 percent of all lottery dollars being spent on education.  

“We are proud of this accomplishment and are very thankful to all Lottery players and retailers who have helped us reach such a significant milestone,” said Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell.  “We will continue to strive to increase funding for education programs in our state for the next 25 years and beyond.”

Governor Scott said, “Today’s news that the Lottery has reached $25 billion in investments for education is great news, and means more Florida students will have the opportunity to get a great education… To provide greater opportunities for Florida students, we must continue to make targeted investments in education, and that’s why my Florida Families First Budget increases education investments by $1.2 billion and provides every classroom teacher with a $2,500 pay raise.”

On that note: the jackpot has grown to $13 million. So ante up if you want to be millionaire #1,201 on Wednesday.