An overhead shot of 5 people walking in a line on a colorful background. An overhead shot of 5 people walking in a line on a colorful background.

About Us

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA STATE LOTTERY

Our Mission Is to Help California's Public Schools

The Lottery’s sole mission is to supplement funding for California’s public schools and colleges. Since we began in 1984, we’ve given schools more than $37 billion.

While the Lottery is a public agency, we receive no public funding. Instead, we raise all operating and administrative expenses through the responsible sales of our games. We give the community back 95 cents of every dollar you spend on Lottery games through contributions to public schools and colleges, prizes and retail compensation. Learn more about who we benefit.

The California State Lottery began with a ballot measure, Proposition 37, that was approved by voters on November 6, 1984. Called the California State Lottery Act of 1984, it allows the Lottery to supplement funding for public education in California through the responsible sale of lottery products.

 

Administrative expenses were originally capped at 16 percent of sales, with 34 percent going to education. In April 2010, the Legislature passed California’s Assembly Bill 142, which changed the Lottery’s funding formula to follow best practices. This has helped the Lottery increase sales and transfer more money to public schools and colleges.

What the Lottery Act Specifies
  • A commission appointed by the Governor will operate and administer the Lottery. Learn about the Lottery Commission.
  • Eighty-seven percent of all sales must go back to the public in the form of prizes and contributions to education.
  • The Lottery’s beneficiaries include: K-12 public schools, community colleges, California State University, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation—Division of Juvenile Justice, California Department of Education—State Special Schools, California Department of Developmental Services and California Department of State Hospitals.

The Legislature can amend the Lottery Act if it will further our purpose of providing supplemental funding to public education in California.

The Lottery establishes a three-year rolling business plan that sets our goals and objectives for each fiscal year. We continuously review our performance, based on short-term targets, to make sure we operate at maximum efficiency.

Like any business, our performance review is critical to measure our success and identify areas that could be improved. By closely examining the Lottery’s performance, we can continue to maximize our contributions to education.

As a member of the global lottery industry, the Lottery is a strong supporter and promoter of responsible gaming. We dedicate significant resources to responsible gaming and pioneered the first problem gambling hotline in California. Learn more about our commitment to responsible gaming and follow the California Council on Problem Gambling on Facebook.

The World Lottery Association’s Responsible Gaming Award

We’re proud to be the first lottery in the nation to receive the highest level of internationally recognized certification for responsible gaming. Find out about our World Lottery Association Responsible Gaming Level Four Award.

Lottery Media Contacts

If you are a member of the media and have an inquiry, please call 916-822-8131 or email pio@calottery.comOur team will respond to your request in a timely manner.

For additional information about the Lottery’s Office of Public Affairs and Communications or to see previous news releases, please visit our Media Resources page.

If you're not a member of the media, please contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-LOTTERY (1-800-568-8379) and someone will be happy to help you.