ST. LOUIS —
Brian Peck writes, "Missouri Lottery continues to advertise how much schools benefit. I am a teacher and have never seen or heard of such benefits. I am curious if districts benefit and how so?"
Our sources for this story - the Missouri 2019 fiscal year budget and the Missouri Lottery website.
According to the 2019 budget, the lottery made $1.4 billion in ticket sales in 2019. Their operating costs, including paying for winnings from the big prizes, were around $1.1 billion.
The rest, around $326 million by a law passed in 1986 by the state legislature goes to Missouri's elementary schools, high schools and higher education institutions.
According to the Missouri Lottery website, $198 million this year went to elementary and high schools. $127 million went to higher education.
Also on the lottery website, you can see how the state legislature allocated that money. Categories include special education initiatives, virtual schools and various other programs.
So we can verify, this money is going towards Missouri public education, but let's answer the second part of Brian's question, how do districts benefit?
If you go to the Missouri Lottery website, you can actually see a map of the state and click on the county you want to see.
In Brian's case, he works for the Riverview Gardens district.
According to the site, in 2019, their district received just under $200,000 in funding for different programs.
So we can verify, money from the lottery is benefiting public school systems.