The Bulletin

Virginia Lottery’s profits, which go to education, break record

By: - July 17, 2019 1:45 pm


The Virginia Lottery made nearly $650 million in the fiscal year that ended in June, all of which will be used for education funding.

The amount breaks the agency’s previous record of $606 million put toward education last year.

The Lottery’s profits came from $2.29 billion in sales, Lottery Director Kevin Hall said at a Lottery Board meeting Wednesday. The sales also broke the agency’s previous record of $2.1 billion last year.

Unclaimed prizes, which amounted to $6.5 million last fiscal year, are deposited into the Literary Fund. That provides resources for schools to finance capital projects, like building repairs.

The agency pays out retailers who sell Lottery games, funds its operating expenses and pays out prizes from annual sales. The leftover money, or profit, is used for state education funding.

“The Lottery uses responsible business principles to efficiently deliver these profits for its stakeholders—the people of Virginia and Virginia’s K-12 public schools,” Lottery Board Chairman Ferhan Hamid said in a statement.

“Whether or not you choose to purchase lottery products, your local public schools still share in the benefits of this well-run business.”

Approximately 10 percent of Virginia’s education budget comes from the Lottery, according to a statement from Gov. Ralph Northam.

“Students and teachers in every part of our commonwealth continue to benefit from the Virginia Lottery’s record-high proceeds, and with an increase in the Lottery per Pupil Allocation, our school districts have more flexibility to use Lottery profits to meet their diverse needs,” Northam said.

 “With this funding we are not only supporting a variety of important programs in our public schools, we are also making critical investments in our young Virginians and expanding opportunities for them to succeed.”

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Mechelle Hankerson
Mechelle Hankerson

Mechelle, born and raised in Virginia Beach, is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in mass communications and a concentration in print journalism. She covered the General Assembly for the university’s Capital News Service and was among 12 student journalists in swing states selected by the Washington Post to cover the 2012 presidential election. For the past five years, she has covered local government, crime, housing, infrastructure and other issues at the Raleigh News & Observer and The Virginian-Pilot, where she most recently covered the state’s biggest city, Virginia Beach. Mechelle was with the Virginia Mercury until January 3rd, 2019.