Published: June 19, 2022

California new lottery tool allows for transparency


The California Lottery unveiled a new interactive tool Thursday that lets the public track how much funding area schools received from the lottery. 

The tool is an interactive map of the state that allows people to see how money is broken down by county.

When hovering your mouse over Sacramento County, it shows that public schools in the county received $21,750,712 during the first quarter of California’s fiscal year in 2021-22. 

“We developed this follow-the-dollars feature on our website to help Californians better understand the true purpose of the lottery,” said California State Lottery Director Alva V. Johnson. “We exist solely to generate additional money for public schools, and this tool demonstrates our commitment not only to our mission but our commitment to transparency as well.” 

Public school funding from the lottery comes from every ticket sale and additional money comes from unclaimed prizes. 

According to the lottery website, public schools in California have been given more than $39 billion since lottery tickets first went on sale in the state in 1985. If a lottery ticket isn’t claimed, what happens to the money?

When money is distributed to public schools, the lottery said State’s Controller’s Office determines how much of the lottery’s funds are dispersed. The money is distributed to schools from elementary grades all the way to college-level education institutions. 

Here is how the money is divided between public schools in California, according to the lottery: 

  • Grades K-12 — 79.9% 
  • Community colleges — 14%
  • California State University system — 3.7%
  • University of California — 2.3%
  • Other educational entities — 0.1%

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