Capitol Alert

Record sales for California lottery in just-finished fiscal year

A customer buys a 'Mega Millions' lottery ticket in Sacramento in December 2013. The lottery reported preliminary total sales of $5.5 billion in the year ending June 30, a record.
A customer buys a 'Mega Millions' lottery ticket in Sacramento in December 2013. The lottery reported preliminary total sales of $5.5 billion in the year ending June 30, a record. RBenton@sacbee.com

The California Lottery posted more than $5.5 billion in total sales during the fiscal year ending June 30, its highest sales total ever and about 10 percent more than the previous year’s then-record of $5.03 billion dollars, according to preliminary figures.

Now in its 30th year, the lottery’s 2014-15 numbers will generate about $1.3 billion for schools. That represents about 1.6 percent of the $83.2 billion overall funding for California K-12 schools in the current budget year.

“This is a great achievement for the California Lottery and great news for our state’s public schools,” acting lottery director Paula LaBrie said in a recent statement.

State lottery sales dipped below $3 billion during the recession but have grown steadily since 2010. Driving last year’s sales growth were gains in sales of Scratchers tickets, which totaled $3.9 billion, and Hot Spot games, such as Powerball and Mega Millions, which generated $1.6 billion in sales.

The California Department of Education last week reported that, based on the lottery’s estimates, school districts will receive roughly $161.85 in lottery proceeds for every student.

Lottery officials expect $6 billion in total sales for the current fiscal year, which would mean about $1.4 billion for schools, according to the education department. That would translate into districts getting roughly $181 per student.

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