When most people think of playing the lottery, they think of the jackpots and becoming a multimillionaire, lavish vacations, and quitting their day job. The occasional cynic might think only of the odds against winning. But the truth is, regardless of your viewpoint, playing the lottery is about all of us winning together. How? Because every lottery ticket purchase helps fund important programs and initiatives at the state level. In California, for example, 95 cents of every dollar spent on lottery tickets goes directly back to the state! Curious where the money goes and who it helps? Read on to learn how the lottery benefits all of us, even if we don’t have the winning numbers.

Supporting Retailers

Retailers earn a commission on lottery ticket sales (typically around five percent) and, if they participate in the Retailer Incentive Program, they earn bonuses on large prize-winning tickets sold by their business. In fact, retailers can earn up to $1 million for selling a jackpot-winning ticket! In the Lottery.com app, we point users to their closest retailer because we want everyone, retailers included, to be happy and win together.  


Many states rightfully choose to support education in their state. The South Carolina Education Lottery, for example, was started in January 2002 with the initiative to increase revenue for public education. Since then they’ve given more than $5 billion to the Education Lottery account, and additional lottery proceeds have generated $3.46 billion to support scholarships and grants and benefited K-12 schools with more than $87 million. The California Lottery’s mission is “to maximize supplemental funding for public education.” Among other states that support education are Missouri, Arizona, and Montana, which uses lottery proceeds to fund scholarships at Montana colleges and universities for students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, math, and healthcare.

 Local Economies

Supporting Veterans

The Texas Lottery gives money to the Texas Veterans Commission’s Fund for Veterans’ Assistance. The fund awards grants to local government agencies and non-profits which address the needs of Texas Veterans and their families. Other states that support veterans via funds and support programs include Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Illinois.

Environmental Preservation

Both Nebraska and Arizona give a portion of their lottery proceeds to their local environment and wildlife, although the Colorado Lottery takes first place in preservation efforts. They are the only entity in the world that dedicates all of its lottery profits (typically more than $100 million a year) to preserving their environment. In total, the Colorado Lottery has given more than $2.7 billion back to the state to protect their land.

This isn’t just across the United States – even New Zealand uses its lottery system to protect their gorgeous landscape. They offer environment and heritage grants for projects that help “protect, conserve or care for our natural, cultural and physical heritage, or allow us to better understand and access these resources.”

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