NEW ORLEANS – Lottery fever has gripped Louisiana the rest of the country. But while people are snatching up $2 tickets and dreaming of spending their millions, some are asking where that money is going to end up.
According to the Louisiana Lottery Corporation, 35 percent of all lottery revenue must be transferred to the Louisiana treasury due to state law. As of July, 2014, lottery proceeds must be earmarked for K-12 public education in the state.
The first $500,000 in lottery proceeds each year is set aside for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to fund problem gambling programs.
The lottery corporation says $3.5 billion to the Louisiana Treasury in 2018, making it ranked second in the U.S. lotteries in percentage of revenue transferred to its state.
A little more than half (53.7 percent) of lottery sales are reserved for prizes. About 11 percent is split between lottery retailers like gas stations that sell the tickets and the lottery company for operations.
Lottery fever continues to grow across the nation almost as fast as the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots. The two lotteries combined are currently valued at more than $2.2 billion. The possible $1.6 billion Mega Millions payout is the biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
The Mega Millions draws occur twice a week on every Tuesday and Friday at 10 p.m.