CA State Lottery: New tool shows breakdown of school funding

Dorothy S. Bass


The California State Lottery unveiled a new online tool this week that lets users search how many lottery dollars have been contributed to schools and districts throughout the state.

The lottery has contributed nearly $1.6 billion in school funding to public K-12 districts in the four-county capital region of Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo since the first tickets were sold in 1985.

About four dozen districts in those counties received a combined total of close to $24 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2021-22. That’s up from about $19.5 million per quarter in 2020-21, or about $78 million for the full fiscal year.

Lottery funds are supplementary, and the $1.8 billion given statewide to public schools last fiscal year made up about 1% of the state’s annual public education budget, California Lottery officials said in a Thursday news release.

A new online tool from the California State Lottery lets users search how much money from the Lottery has gone to counties, school districts and some individual schools across the state. Screenshot via

Since 2017-18, between 20% and 25% of each year’s Lottery sales have gone to public education. The rest go to prize-winners, retailers who sell winning tickets and administrative costs to run the Lottery.

Within that public education funding, about 80% goes to K-12, 14% to community colleges, 3.7% to the California State University system, 2.3% to the University of California and 0.1% to other educational entities, according to Thursday’s news release.

Lottery allocations to public schools are calculated using districts’ average daily attendance figures.

Here’s how much each of more than four dozen public K-12 districts in the capital region received for the first quarter of 2021-22, all of the previous fiscal year and since the California Lottery launched.

A grand-prize Powerball ticket was sold earlier this year at a 7-Eleven store in Sacramento’s Valley Hi neighborhood, turning a $2 ticket into a more than $316 million prize before taxes. Sacramento’s winner split the $632.6 million jackpot with one other winner, in Wisconsin.

That winning ticket was claimed, and the winner chose the $225.1 million lump sum, worth about $141 million after federal taxes. The 7-Eleven store won $1 million for selling the winning ticket, California Lottery officials said.

A $1.67 million-winning ticket bought in November in Sacramento’s South Land Park neighborhood went unclaimed and expired.

Unclaimed prizes go to public schools, according to the California Lottery.

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.


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