Last year was another very good year for lottery play in Florida. Florida Lottery sales in 2021 set a record for the 11th straight year.
The organization announced this week that it generated $9.23 billion in sales in the 2021-2022 fiscal year. It was a record-setting figure for the department and the 11th consecutive year they set a higher bar for its sales record. Fiscal years start in July and run through the end of June of the next year.
In turn, the Florida Lottery sent $2.3 billion to Florida’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF). That pushed the lifetime donation total past $42 billion.
What’s even more amazing is that Florida does not allow online ticket sales, so the full $9.23 billion was generated from purchases at brick-and-mortar businesses.
Florida Lottery Secretary John F. Davis said he is “incredibly proud” of the accomplishment.
“This latest accomplishment comes just five short months after reaching the $41 billion mark, but the Lottery’s mission to enhance education goes far beyond the monthly transfers to the EETF. We believe education is key to changing the trajectory of students’ lives and the Lottery will continue to strive to build brighter futures for all Florida students.”
Florida Lottery’s education contribution by the numbers
When the Florida Lottery launched in 1988, it did so with the intention of generating revenue for the state’s education system.
For example, of the $9.23 billion in sales the lottery generated last year, about 25.5% of it, or $2.35 billion, went to Florida’s education system. The Lottery’s annual report noted that this is the 19th consecutive year it’s sent at least $1 billion to the EETF.
The rest of the money is split up as follows:
- 66.5%, or $6.1 billion, paid out in prizes
- 5.6% paid in commissions to retailers that sell certain winning tickets.
- 1.4% to ticket vendor fees
- 1.0% to Lottery administration
While prizes make up the majority of the Florida Lottery’s expenses, the lottery’s popularity among Floridians has led to big dollars for the education system. This past year marks the second consecutive time that the lottery sent more than $2 billion to the EETF.
Florida’s pre-K and kindergarten through 12th-grade schools have received more than $22 billion in funding. The Lottery has given more than $11 billion to state colleges and universities.
Bright Futures program approaching 1 million scholarships
Among the beneficiaries of lottery dollars is the Bright Futures program. The initiative provides scholarships for eligible Florida post-secondary schools for Florida residents who graduated from a Florida high school.
Lottery dollars are the primary funding source for Bright Futures. Since 1997, more than 900,000 students attended college with a Bright Futures scholarship. It’s possible that, within the next two years, Bright Futures scholarships could eclipse one million, based on average yearly totals.
What’s ahead for education revenue?
Recession talk has rumbled through the economic landscape. Some experts predict that there’s a 40% chance of recession this year. That may seem like bad news for the lottery. However, past research indicates that recessions tend to result in an increase in lottery sales.
Consequently, if the economy falls on hard times, Florida’s education system should still receive substantial funds from the lottery.
If a recession doesn’t materialize, revenue from the past three years indicates that the EETF should get more than $2 billion in 2022. The Lottery notes that population growth, personal income changes and tourism are among the most important factors in lottery sales.
That’s good news for the EETF. Experts believe Florida’s population will eclipse 22 million in 2022. Also, wages saw a significant jump last year and the state’s year-on-year tourism numbers jumped 35.1% in Q1 2022.