Bucks for Books: How the Ohio Lottery supports public school students in West Park


Every time you buy a $1 Lottery ticket, you contribute 25 cents toward the education of public school students in Ohio. This is a small but consistent part of education funding.

Eighteen schools in West Park are among those that benefit from the Lottery. West Park covers zip codes 44111 and 44135.

Where the money goes…

In fiscal year 2018, the Ohio Lottery generated a record $4.1 billion in sales. Of that, $3.16 billion came from the sale of traditional lottery games.

For every $1 customers spend on the Ohio Lottery, here is where it goes. This breakdown is for traditional lottery game sales only. It does not include sales, prizes, operation expenses or profits from video lottery terminal operations at Ohio’s seven racinos.

By law, Ohio Lottery profits support public school operations, K through 12. On average, 25 cents of each dollar is transferred to the Lottery Profits Education Fund (LPEF). From there, it goes to the Ohio Department of Education, which distributes it to public schools, based on a formula. The formula was determined by the Ohio General Assembly.

During fiscal 2018, the Lottery transferred $1.09 billion to the LPEF — the highest profit transfer in the Lottery’s 44-year history. Of that, $794.7 million was generated from the sale of traditional lottery games.

Since the Lottery began in 1973, more than $24 billion has been transferred to education.

-64 cents from each dollar is returned to Lottery customers in prizes. These prizes range from a $1 payoff on an instant ticket, to million-dollar prizes in multi-state games. During fiscal 2018, the Lottery awarded $1.99 billion in prizes.

-6.5 cents is paid in commissions to retailers who sell Lottery tickets. There are about 10,000 retailers in Ohio.

-4.5 cents goes to fund Lottery operations.

There are many factors that contribute to financing education. For more information on how Ohio schools are funded, visit education.ohio.gov.

Jerry Masek worked as a public information officer for the Ohio Lottery from 1992-2000.

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