OKLAHOMA CITY (July 27, 2018) -The Oklahoma Lottery’s annual education contribution increased 19 percent this year thanks to a new law that enabled the agency to improve player experience and sales.
The Lottery sent $63.2 million to education for fiscal year 2018, which ended June 30. Of that, $13.2 million was earmarked specifically for programs in reading, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in K-12 public schools.
“The Lottery is ecstatic to be providing millions of dollars more to the education community,” said Jay Finks, Director of Marketing and Administration of the Oklahoma Lottery. “Every education dollar is precious and we are thankful that increased Lottery sales have allowed us to contribute more than promised.”
Since its inception in 2005, the Lottery has now sent $868.4 million to public education. Education contributions are on pace to reach $1 billion in total within the next few years.
The Lottery has experienced a major boost in sales since enactment of House Bill 1837 in July 2017. The bill, authored by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David and signed by Governor Fallin in 2017, requires the Lottery to send $50 million annually to public education under its existing allocation model, while sending profits in excess of $50 million to common education for reading and STEM.
The $13.2 million that will go to common education reading and STEM programs this year beat the Lottery’s $8 million estimate by $5.2 million, or 65 percent.
Under the new law, the Lottery expects that $330 million will be sent to education over the next five years, which is a $110 million increase over what would have been sent without the new law. With $63.2 million already provided in just the first year, the Lottery is well on its way to meeting that goal.
In 2018, an additional Lottery enhancement bill was signed that will allow for even more contribution increases to education. The bill, which takes effect November 1, will allow the use of debit cards to be used to purchase any lottery game.
“We are really happy with how the Lottery is growing and believe this new law will lead to continual growth in public education contributions in the future,” Finks said.