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May 29th, 2017

Your Payment Options as a Powerball Winner

Idaho has had a state lottery since 1989. Since its inception, the Idaho state lottery has earned approximately $300 million, which that state has used to make improvements to their public schools and public buildings. Idaho’s lottery has allowed the state to fund numerous improvement project for the benefit of all citizens; improvements which would either not have been possible without the lottery, or that would have had to have been paid for out of the tax payers’ pockets.

Lottery money is divided up dollar for dollar. For every dollar spent on lottery tickets in Idaho, 60.4% of each dollar goes into the lottery prize fund. From the remaining amount, 22.5% goes into state programs, 8.9% pays the administration costs of the lottery, 5.8% pays commissions to retailers who sell the lottery tickets, and the last 2.4% goes to lottery game support, like advertising and promotions.

Idaho has accomplished a lot with the 22.5% it sets aside to fund public projects. For Idaho’s public school system, proceeds from the lottery have paid to refurbish and remodel schoolyard playgrounds, repair leaky school roofs, remove asbestos, improve fire alarm systems, and update electrical wiring. The money has also helped build new elementary schools and expand and remodel existing middle schools, high schools, and colleges. In 2005 alone, the Idaho state lottery fund replaced the heating and cooling system at the College of Southern Idaho, renovated the lecture halls at Boise State University, and worked on the water system and replaced the elevators at the University of Idaho. For elementary, middle, and high schools in 2005, the state lottery paid for additions like new fine arts buildings, the creation of track and field and other sports complexes, and the purchase of new school buses for the school systems.

When it comes to other public projects, the Idaho state lottery again has paid for a great number of improvements; in 2005 alone, the lottery paid for 82 different public service projects. The projects ranged from re-roofing the Idaho State History Museum, to replacing hot water lines for the Department of Agriculture, to improving security at the McKelway state prison, to replacing the showers at the Lava Hot Springs tourist attraction. Nearly every state department has benefited from lottery proceeds at some time since the lottery began in 1989.

The road to creating a lottery was not an easy on in Idaho. A bill approving a lottery was passed in 1986, but the Idaho State Supreme Court blocked the bill, saying lotteries were prohibited under the state constitution. It took until 1989 before the voters in Idaho passed a resolution making lotteries legal under state law. The bill only just passed with a 51% margin, and the lottery remained deeply unpopular in some circles. Despite its unpopularity with some groups, on the first day of the lottery, over 850,000 tickets were sold. Before the end of the year, the lottery had earned $65 million, $17 million of which went into the state’s coffer for the state educational system and public projects. Idaho began selling Lotto tickets in 1990; the Multi-State Lottery association administers Lotto, but Idaho still receives a portion of the proceeds.

The lottery has increased in popularity in Idaho since it has shown results as fund raiser for state projects and a way to take some burden off of the tax payer. Idaho now has one of the highest levels of lottery participation of any state in the country. All of this lottery playing has translated into the completion of state projects, which may have never gotten off the ground without lottery income.