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Contributions To Education

Our Mission is Public Education

Recognized as one of the fastest growing lotteries in the United States, the California Lottery saw its sales rise by 11.7% in Fiscal Year 2017-18. In all, the Lottery had its best year on record achieving sales of just under $7 billion.

The great news is that when Lottery sales are up, public education is the biggest winner of all. Last fiscal year, the Lottery was once again able to transfer a record of more than $1.7 billion in supplemental funding to California public schools. In addition, the Lottery has always been committed to finding even more ways to help support the schools that educate our children.

Since 1985, Lottery players have helped contribute more than $34.2 billion to help create additional educational opportunities for California’s students. With the help of these funds, public schools are able to attract and retain quality teachers, buy classroom supplies and state-of-the-art equipment and keep important programs running. But none of this would be possible without our players!

In Fiscal Year 2017-18, the Lottery and its players returned more than $1 billion to public schools in our state for the 18th consecutive year. While this contribution currently represents less than 1.5% of the state’s annual public school budget, remember that Lottery funds are meant only to supplement public education, not to replace state and local funding. We concede that in the bigger picture, our contributions to education are a drop in the bucket, but in this recovering economy, every penny helps.

The Lottery’s mandate, as defined by the California State Lottery Act, is to provide supplemental funding to California public education at all levels. K-12 education, Community Colleges, the California State University, the University of California and other educational entities all benefit from Lottery proceeds.

All segments of public schools receive the same per pupil funding level from the Lottery based on the average daily attendance of students in each school district. Since 1985, the educational institutions that receive Lottery funds and their cumulative distributions are listed below:


Once a quarter, the Lottery sends its supplemental funds for schools to the State Controller’s Office (SCO) who then audits those contributions. The SCO in turn distributes them to county treasurers who then send the money to County Offices of Education, School Districts and the administrators of higher education. Those entities determine how Lottery funds are distributed and spent within their systems. The Lottery is not involved in this decision-making process.

Some districts, especially smaller school districts and higher education, have used funds for computer labs, teacher workshops and science programs, as well as art and music programs.

Want to see for yourself? We’re doing the legwork for you! Our corporate communications video team is visiting public school campuses up and down the state to track specific and unique examples of Lottery funding at work. The key reason many administrators tell us they appreciate this type of funding is that it allows for so much LOCAL control.

They know what their students need and they can use Lottery funding to directly target those issues. We continue to be amazed by the different ways Lottery money is being used to help our students. View these examples for yourself through our Education Videos portal. You can feel proud of the role you play in supporting public education in our state!