About a third of the earnings from the sale of lottery tickets contribute to public education expenses. And about a tenth of the lottery sales go towards the retailers. Surprisingly, only about five percent of the lottery earnings go towards the cost of the game and towards the operating expenses. Many states have adopted a system where the main purpose of the lottery is to provide funds for, and to improve the states’ educational system. For example, the Florida lottery has contributed more than $21 billion dollars toward its Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.
Like many other states, Florida has a scholarship for high school students that can help pay for college. Florida calls this the Bright Futures Scholarship, which can pay up to 100% of your college education. The Bright Futures Scholarship program is funded by the Florida Lottery and has helped send more than 450,000 students to college since 1997. Lottery funds are also spent on salaries and benefits for instructors and classroom materials such as textbooks. Lottery funds also provide schools the flexibility to continue with valuable programs and services offered to students.
The lottery can also play a role in helping to support small businesses. Lottery retailers earn a percentage from their ticket sales. For example, in New Jersey the lottery returned over 140 million dollars in commissions to support chain stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, convenience stores and small businesses throughout the state. The lottery retailers of these small businesses are also eligible to receive tax incentives from the government. And believe it or not, there are people that hit the “jackpot” and can win a large sum of money. Depending on the person, the money can be spent however hey like. There are many lottery winners that donate money to their favorite organization, local churches, shelters in their communities, to their local park, etc. I see the lottery as a very good thing for communities everywhere. There are many that choose not to play because they see it as a gamble or a waste of money. In reality, those who play help our community in several ways. There is nothing wrong with playing the lottery, or buying a scratch off every now and again, and should not be seen as a bad thing. You should think about the benefits.