It all began in 1991.
The Texas Lottery began as a result of a constitutional amendment passed by the voters.
The first tickets were bought in ’92 and 70% of Texans played the game.
And the whole thing was about schools and the kids.
OK, you’ve been to the store and bought your Mega-Millions lottery ticket, hopefully not in your company vehicle. Now, the lottery was sold to us as a way to help fund education. And it says right here on the ticket, “for Texas Schools.” Well, a viewer comment asked that question…where does the lottery money really go? So we decided to find out.
Turns out it’s a good news bad news deal.
The lottery money does indeed go to the state school fund…27% of it, or about a billion dollars a year…that is of course, after winners and retailers are paid, and expenses are met.
And frankly 5% overhead to run the thing is pretty good.
Now for the bad news. That 27% doesn’t amount to much.
Oh, the lottery is proud that $13-billion has gone to schools over the years, but lately, that has slowed to a trickle.
In 1996 lottery money would cover all school expenses in the state for 2 weeks. Now, it would cover 3 days.
That 70% percentage of players is now down to 40%.
And lottery sales are heavily weighted toward the poor. That has turned some legislators against it.
So does the lottery truly go toward education? Yes.
Does it amount to much? Not any more.