The Real Facts About Lotto State Spending

For a very long time we have  heard  that lotto ticket profits go to the state for educational spending.

On May 15, 2017 the United State Census Bureau released its preliminary data for the 2015 Annual Survey of State Government Finances. Included in this dataset is the income and apportionment data of state-administered lottery funds. For each state that has its own lottery, the income generated from ticket sales (excluding commissions), and the apportionment of those sales is included. Funds generated from a state’s lottery are divvied up in one of  three ways: prizes for winning tickets, administrative bills, and leftover proceeds available.  ​

For starters, the United States as a whole ​made $66,788,035,000 in income generated from all of the states’ respective lotteries. $42,278,889,000 of this was used for prizes, $3,180,173,000 was expended on administration, and $21,352,759,000 was the total proceeds remaining.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s population projection for the entire country in 2016 was 32​3,127,513. If we divide the total income generated from various lotteries by the total population of the U.S., then each American spends an average of $206.69 on lottery tickets per year.

LendEDU took the statistics provided by the U.S. Census Bureau a step further and found the average amount each resident spends in lottery tickets in their respective state. Residents of Massachusetts spend the most on lottery tickets per capita, and it is not even close. Massachusetts’ lottery expense per capita came in at $734.85. The next closest state was Rhode Island, where people spend an average of $513.75 per year on lottery tickets. These New England states were followed by Delaware ($420.82), New York ($398.77), and West Virginia ($359.78).

Americans who call North Dakota their home state spend the least on lottery tickets yearly ($34.09). North Dakota was followed by Oklahoma ($43.74), Montana ($53.19), New Mexico ($65.84), and Nebraska ($78.52).​

Not surprisingly, the biggest and most populous states saw the greatest yearly lottery revenues. New York’s yearly lottery revenue was the greatest at $7,783,768,000, followed by California ($5,524,851,000), Florida ($5,277,739,000), Massachusetts ($5,005,635,000), and Texas ($4,281,136,000).

North Dakota generated the least yearly revenue from their lottery ($25,841,000), followed by Montana ($55,451,000), Vermont ($104,861,000), New Mexico ($137,017,000), and South Dakota ($147,933,000).​

LendEDU has some newly released lottery data on a state-by-state level. You can read the deep dive the results of their lottery experiment, click here.

Take a look at the breakdown state by state here.

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