Public Education Lottery Funding

Lottery is a form of gambling that involves selling tickets with a chance to win a prize. Prizes can be money or goods. Some governments prohibit it while others endorse and regulate it. Lotteries raise billions of dollars annually. While some people play it for fun, others believe that winning the lottery will allow them to live a better life.

The first recorded lotteries were held in the Low Countries in the fifteenth century. At the time, towns used them to raise funds for town fortifications and to help the poor. Lottery prizes could include food, property, livestock, and even slaves. Lottery playing was also a favorite pastime of early American presidents, including Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Alexander Hamilton.

Lotteries became a major source of state revenue in the nineteen-sixties, when the aging of America’s population and rising inflation made it increasingly difficult for states to balance their budgets without raising taxes or cutting services. Lottery advocates were able to convince many voters that the proceeds of the games would only go toward one line item in the budget, usually education, but sometimes elder care, public parks, or aid for veterans.

Lottery funds are distributed to public education institutions based on Average Daily Attendance (ADA) for K-12 and community college school districts and full-time enrollment for higher education and specialized colleges. Click or tap on a county to view its funding levels. Amounts are subject to change based on current needs.

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