Lotta' Lotto confusion
POSTED: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 5:43pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 2:50am
TYLER — When the Texas lottery was first established in the early 90s, all the profits were put into a state general revenue fund. But that all changed in 1997 when the state legislature changed that and sent a big portion of the profits to state schools. But one man who e-mail KETK this week wants to know where every cent of that lotto money goes.
Many lotto players can rationalize spending hard-earned money on lottery tickets because at least their money goes to kids getting an education. But does it really?
Since the first lottery ticket in Texas was sold back in May of 1992, the Texas Lottery Commission has raked in billions.
In the beginning all profits raised from the lottery were punt into a state general fund.
But Texas lawmakers have since changed that. Since the beginning of the 1998 fiscal year, we're told almost a third of the total revenue from the Texas lottery has been put directly into the Foundation School Fund, which goes to support education in Texas public schools. There, lotto money and funding appropriated from state representatives is put into one giant pot where the money is divied out to each school district annually.
"About 27 cents of every dollar goes to the Foundation School Fund," said Bobby Heith, spokesperson for the Texas Lottery Commission.
We're told since 1998, more than 11 billion has been transferred into this fund.
"That fund is managed by the Texas Education Agency," Heith said. "We make the transfers and they determine how that money is distributed."
So of this so called 11 billion is going to help state schools, then why are things like the price of school lunches continuing to get pricier. Are they spending it all on pay raises or bonuses like the bank do?
The answer? Well officials with the Texas Education Agency told us they don't really know what it towards.
"Its not a very glamorous answer because it just goes into a big pot so there's no way to determine what the money's being spent on," Suzanne Marchman, spokesperson for the Texas Education Agency said.