Sure, the lottery is about (responsible) fun and fantasy, but it’s also about supporting the community—and the Arizona lottery definitely takes that to heart. Tony Bouie, Executive Director of the Arizona Lottery, says that the lottery is “fortunate to give millions of dollars back to the Arizona community and support local businesses.” The Arizona Lottery has divided their areas of community support into six main “pillars”:

  1. Arts & Education
  2. Community Enrichment
  3. Economic Development
  4. Environmental Conservation
  5. Health & Human Services
  6. Public Safety

But what does that actually mean? Here’s a breakdown of how the Arizona Lottery is putting community first.

Arts & Education

In the 2015 fiscal year, the Arizona state Lottery contributed $22,273,207 to the University Bond Fund. All the money will go to producing state-of-the-art education facilities for universities and other community outreach programs, with a focus on disadvantaged families.

Community Enrichment

The Arizona Lottery is built around community. The Arizona Lottery also helps bring community projects to fruition through Request for Proposals (RFPs), where companies can place bids on the completion of different social projects. Some pretty cool things have come out of these initiatives, like the Autism Center’s Annual Community Fundraising Breakfast. The Arizona Lottery will evaluate different opportunities submitted by interested parties and give out funding for items and events that fit with their six pillar community development platform.

Economic Development

The Arizona Lottery put $11,444,400 into the Local Transportation Assistance Fund II (LTAF II) in the 2015 fiscal year alone. This helps develop public transportation, including buses, wheelchair and disability assistance, bicycle transit facilities, and much more. The Arizona Lottery is literally helping people go far. The Arizona Lottery also supported small and growing businesses to the tune of $3,500,000 by contributing to Arizona Commerce Authority projects.

Environmental Conservation

The Arizona Lottery is built around community. The Arizona Lottery gave $10,000,000 to the Heritage Fund: Game and Fish in 2015. The Heritage Fund is used to support public access to parks and recreation, environmental education, schoolyard habitats, and protection and management of natural resources.

Health and Human Services

The Arizona Lottery supports a wide variety of health services in Arizona. Here are just a few of their recent contributions:

Public Safety

From victims’ rights enforcement, to homeless/transitional services, to problem gambling organizations and education, the Arizona Lottery uses its funds to support and protect its community. Qualifying organizations and initiatives can benefit greatly, helping to make the Arizona community safer for all. Sure, the lottery is about having fun and living your dreams—but the funds raised don’t just benefit the winners. Community development is a key component of the Arizona Lottery’s social and business platform. So if you are out there playing the lottery and reaching for your dreams, remember that you are in turn helping to build the dreams of your neighbors, state, and community. Photos: Rowan Heuvel, Priscilla Westra, Jon Flobrant