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Lottery in Arizona: How does the revenue generated get divided?

Posted at 7:01 PM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 08:25:06-04

The excitement over the $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot is unlike anything we've seen before.

"It's a lot of money, a lot of money -- fantasies. I mean, what would you do with 1.6 [million dollars]?" asked Sean Gray.

RELATED: $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot is the largest in history

Others we talked to already had plans for at least some of their winnings:

"I'm moving to Dallas," said Angie Nakie.

"I'd be boring, I'd invest it," said Gray.

Many haven't considered what the state does with the nice chunk of change they get from the lotto every year.

MAP: Locations of winning lottery tickets in Arizona

"Isn't it suppose to go to education and all that kind of stuff," said Gray.

According to an annual report by the state lottery for the 2017 fiscal year, $852 million was generated in revenue from the lottery. Of that, 23% ($198 million) went to 13 legislatively-mandated funds that benefit 20 different programs. Those programs are split into four categories:

- $40 million went to education and the arts
- $26.9 million went to health and human services
- $10 million went to the environment
- $15 million went to economic and business development  

Of the $40 million that went to education, almost none of it went to K-12 students. Instead, approximately $39,926,998 went to the University Bond Fund, which is used by the Arizona Board of Regents' construction budget.  

Other funds that benefited were a program that protected children from internet crimes, funding for a program for court-appointed guardians of abused and neglected children, mass transit funding, protecting wildlife, promoting health and awareness, and homeless services.  

Once all programs are funded, any excess money generated by the lottery goes toward debt service payments and the legislature's General Fund. The Arizona Lottery provides a full breakdown of where the money goes on its website.

The next drawing for the Mega Millions $1.6 million jackpot will be on Tuesday, October 23rd.  

Additional links

Approved budgeted appropriations for the lottery

Lottery budget projections FY2018 & FY2019