BOISE, Idaho – The single most successful sales year in Idaho Lottery history translated into the largest dividend ever returned to the People of Idaho. During a presentation in the Governor’s Ceremonial Office at the Idaho State Capitol this afternoon, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter accepted a record-setting dividend check from the Idaho State Lottery Commission for $53.5 million on behalf of the citizens of Idaho. This year’s dividend is $5 million more than last year’s dividend.
“For nearly three decades, the Idaho Lottery has been winning for our communities, our local businesses, and certainly for Idaho Idaho’s public schools and the State’s permanent buildings,” Governor Otter said. “Throughout my time as Governor, the Idaho Lottery has maintained its focus on integrity, fairness and fun while providing great benefits to the people of Idaho.”
“Today’s dividend announcement, and this past year’s achievements are the result of great work from a devoted team of professionals at the Idaho Lottery,” said Jeff Anderson, Idaho Lottery Director. “Our success is made possible by the continued support from our players and the collaborative partnership of our valued retailers, 1,200 brick and mortar establishments who sell our products every day of the year.”
For the seventh consecutive year, Idaho Lottery sales have increased, eclipsing the $250 million mark in a single year for the first time in Idaho Lottery history. This year’s sales record of $265 million is an increase of 10% over last year’s record sales amount. This year’s dividend also increased by 10% over the previous year. At $53.5 million, it is the first time the Lottery dividend has exceeded $50 million in a single fiscal year.
During the ceremony, Governor Otter and Lottery Commission Chairman Mel Fisher presented Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra with a record-setting, $33,437,500 dividend check. Of that, $20,062,500 is earmarked for the Department of Education for use by the districts in their public schools and the remaining $13,375,000 goes to the Department’s Bond Levy Equalization Fund. Since inception, the Idaho Lottery has contributed $466.5 million to these accounts in support of Public Education in Idaho.
“A well-maintained school supports a positive learning environment for students and the Lottery funding helps support that by providing dedicated funding to tackle improvement projects,” Superintendent Sherri Ybarra said.
Governor Otter and Commissioner Fisher also presented a record dividend check for $20,062,500 to the Department of Administration’s Permanent Building Fund Advisory Council Chairman Dee Jameson. This is the single largest dividend provided to the Permanent Building Fund in Idaho Lottery history.
“The permanent Building Fund is pleased and thankful to receive the largest proceeds check ever presented in the history of the Idaho Lottery,” said Permanent Building Fund Advisory Council Chairman Dee Jameson. “These funds will be applied to a growing backlog of needs to our universities and colleges as well as our other State agencies. The Permanent Building Fund Advisory Council will put these funds to the best benefit for the citizens of Idaho served by those schools and agencies. Thank You.”
Being the last dividend presentation Governor Otter will officially participate in with the Lottery, Director Anderson presented the Governor with his own personal “honorary” Scratch Ticket: “Butch ‘Cash’idy.” During Governor Otter’s tenure, the Idaho Lottery has returned $512,450,000 – over 61% of the Lottery’s historical total.