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Learn how California public schools are using their Lottery dollars.

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About the Lottery

About the California Lottery

How We Got Started

  • Created by Proposition 37 on Nov. 6, 1984
  • 58% of voters approved measure
  • One Mission: Provide supplemental funding for public schools and colleges
  • Key word is "supplement," not supplant
  • The State Controller audits then distributes quarterly contributions to School District Superintendents or Offices of Education
  • Lottery Act capped Administrative expenses at 16% of sales and required 34% of sales go to education.
  • Assembly Bill 142 lowered Administrative expense formula to 13%
  • AB 142 also gave Lottery the flexibility to pay higher percentage of revenue in prizes.
  • AB 142 follows best business practices and requires 87% of sales go back to the public in form of prizes and contributions to education
  • AB 142 has proven to be a resounding success

Follow the Money

  • In 31 years since the sale of our first ticket in October 1985, the Lottery has contributed more than $30.9 billion to public schools
  • Contributions to education are distributed to K-12, Community Colleges, California State, University of California and several specialized campuses
  • Once the money is raised through product sales, the State Controller takes the money, audits our sales, then sends the money to each County Treasurer for distribution to school district superintendents or Offices of Education
  • In the latest Fiscal Year (2015-2016) the Lottery sent a record of more than $1.5 billion to schools
  • Once divided up between all public schools the amount only represents less than 1.5% of the entire California public school budget
  • It is a modest amount
  • Teachers and Administrators say despite the relatively small amount of money, it is critical to programs they would otherwise do without
  • Schools also use their Lottery money to purchase school supplies or computers for computer labs
  • Lottery education money is largely unrestricted
  • Schools must use it for instructional purposes
  • Each school district’s Lottery allocations since 1985 can be found here.