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Press release

December 14, 1999

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December, 1999 | Lottery Performance

California Lottery Releases Report on Who Plays the Lottery


SACRAMENTO, December 14, 1999 - The California Lottery today released a summary of research findings on demographic characteristics of lottery players.

The research shows that, contrary to what some people think, lottery players reflect the population of California by ethnicity and household income. The state population is 54% White, 26% Hispanic, 12% Asian, 6% African-American, 1% Other, according to the California Department of Finance. Lottery players are 52% White, 29% Hispanic, 8% Asian, 7% African-American and 4% Other (including decline to state).

Players of the most popular Lottery game, SuperLotto, resemble the statewide population by household income: 50% of the state population have household incomes above the average of $40,000 and the same is true of SuperLotto players. The report also shows that 56% of Lottery sales come from households with incomes of $35,000 or more, which is the same as the percentage of the population with incomes in that range. Lottery retailers are not over-concentrated in one kind of neighborhood, but are spread throughout the state.

"We are happy to present this report to the public and to the joint Governmental Organization Committees," stated Dan Apodaca, Chairman of the California Lottery Commission. "We hope this will end the frequently held impression that Lottery players are disproportionately of one ethnic or income group. The people who play the Lottery are the people who live in California."

The California Lottery sells its games through a network of more than 18,000 outlets statewide. The Lottery provides 52.5 percent of its sales to players as prizes, 34 percent to public schools, and 13.5 percent for administrative expenses, which includes 6.9 percent for retailer compensation. Since 1985, the Lottery has provided approximately $11 billion to public schools. The California Lottery's contribution equals approximately 2 percent of the state's total education budget.
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