OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - October 5, 2005
Lotteries and good causes…they go together like fun and excitement.
One week from today, Oklahoma will join 41 other U.S. jurisdictions that use net proceeds from the sale of lottery tickets to help pay for crucial state-funded programs. As specified in the Oklahoma Education Lottery Act, and approved by 64 percent of voters last November, the Oklahoma Lottery will use its net proceeds to support improvements and enhancements for educational purposes and programs at all levels – from Pre-Kindergarten to higher education. More than half of all U.S. lotteries – 24 including Oklahoma – earmark all or a portion of their net lottery proceeds for public education.
“In our legislation, we have actually gone a step further than a number of states by mandating that our lottery proceeds be used as a supplement to, and not a replacement of, existing funds for education,” said Jim Scroggins, executive director of the Oklahoma Lottery.
“Governor Henry and state legislators are to be commended for drafting legislation that ensures that this new money goes specifically to education and to no other state program or project. That is a key element of maintaining the public’s trust in the lottery.”
Between October 12, 2005 and the start of the next fiscal year on July 1, 2006, the Oklahoma Lottery estimates it will produce $65 million in revenue on anticipated sales of about $219 million. Oklahoma’s lottery law requires that at least 30 percent of net proceeds are to go to education the first two years, increasing to 35 percent after that.
EDUCATION WILL BENEFIT
Last year in the U.S., total lottery sales exceeded $49 billion, with more than $15 billion going to programs that benefit everything from public education, senior citizens, transportation, and pensions for police, firefighters and teachers, to parks and recreation, tourism, even property tax relief.
“When people see these numbers for the first time, they begin to appreciate more fully just how much good lotteries are doing,” said Scroggins.
“Next week, we begin making our mark, bringing important new money to education that will benefit people and programs in our state for many years to come.”