For the tenth consecutive year, the Idaho Lottery has returned a record breaking dividend to the people of Idaho. Today's announcement came during a ceremony with Governor C. L. "Butch" Otter as the Idaho Lottery Commission presented him with a check for $48,200,000 – the largest dividend in the 24 year history of the Lottery.
This year's record amount was an increase of nearly $7 million over last year's previous record, a 16.1% increase, and is earmarked to benefit the Department of Education, the State's Permanent Building Fund, and the Bond Levy Equalization Fund.
With today's announcement, the Idaho Lottery also reached three additional milestones. Overall total sales have eclipsed the $2.5 billion mark, the Lottery has awarded $1.5 billion in prizes to players, and since beginning operations on July 19, 1989, with this year's dividend amount the Idaho Lottery has now returned $600,500,000 to the citizens of Idaho.
"Once again, the Idaho Lottery has exceeded expectations by delivering an unprecedented dividend to the citizens of Idaho," Governor Otter said. "Its continuing success in working with Idaho businesses and the valuable contributions made to public schools and the permanent building fund has reduced the burden on taxpayers while enhancing Idaho's educational facilities."
"Never in the history of the lottery has there been a better time to be a player, a retailer, or our beneficiary. Our past decade of success is an unprecedented era of responsible growth and dedication to the people of Idaho, its values and its future," said Jeff Anderson, Idaho Lottery Director. "Our annual accomplishment would not have been possible without the continued support of our statewide retailer network, our vendor partners, and everyone who plays the Lottery. For our outstanding year, we thank you."
The Idaho Lottery's beneficiaries also have received record amounts this year. Governor Otter presented the State Department of Education's Chief of Staff Luci Willits with a check for a record $18,075,000. These monies are earmarked for the Department of Education's School District Building Fund.
"We at the State Department of Education appreciate the continued support of the many Idahoans who contribute to education through the Idaho Lottery," said Willits. "The Idaho State Department of Education is working to raise academic achievement for every Idaho student, and the money from the Idaho Lottery helps us move closer to this goal."
Governor Otter presented a check for a record $18,075,000 to members of the Department of Administration's Permanent Building Fund including Chair Gena Russell, and Council members Dee Jameson and Randy Steed.
"Utilizing Lottery proceeds enables the Department of Administration's Division of Public Works and the Permanent Building Fund to address many essential improvements on Idaho's collegiate campuses while maintaining the quality and safety of our state work force buildings," said Department of Administration Director Teresa Luna.
The Department of Education's Bond Levy Equalization Fund received its highest amount ever with a distribution of $12,050,000. Since a statute change in 2009, the Bond Levy Equalization Fund has received over $26,000,000.
This year's annual dividend was achieved from a second consecutive, record-breaking sales year by the Idaho Lottery and its network of nearly 1200 statewide retailers. The Idaho Lottery recorded $197.6 million in total sales, a 12.4% increase over last year's record amount that totals nearly $22 million more in revenue. During the year, Idaho experienced two record jackpot runs on the nation's most popular game, Powerball. Powerball sales were a record amount, eclipsing the previous mark set in 2006 with a total of $45.5 million for FY13. Scratch GamesTM also saw a marked increase over the previous year grossing nearly $108.7 million in total sales.