BOISE, Idaho ÔÇô Thirty years after selling the very first ticket on the steps of the Idaho Capitol, the Idaho Lottery returned to the Idaho Statehouse this morning and returned the largest dividend in their history. Accepting the dividend on behalf of the people of Idaho, Governor Brad Little received a check representing $60,000,000 during a ceremony at the State Capitol. This year's record dividend came on the strength of the eighth consecutive year of responsibly increased sales.
Idaho Lottery Director Jeff Anderson and the Idaho Lottery Commission also presented Governor Little with a check representing the total 30-year dividend provided to Idaho Department of Education's School Building Account Fund, the Department of Education's Bond Levy Equalization Fund, and the State of Idaho's Permanent Building Fund for $906 million.
"For 30 years, the Idaho Lottery has ensured the fairness, accountability, and integrity of all their games and operations," said Governor Little. "The Idaho Lottery has made good on their commitment to make significant contributions to education at all levels to help fund meaningful projects that improve student safety and promote scholastic achievement."
"With close to a billion dollars now returned for our good causes, the dividend we announce today proves every play pays for our beneficiaries, retailers, and players," said Anderson. "Every day we contribute to the future of Idaho's education and prosperity among her citizens."
Since 1989, the Idaho Lottery has totaled $3.9 billion in sales. The statewide network of 1,200 brick and mortar retail locations has earned $232.7 million in commissions.
For the eleventh time in twelve years, and the eighth consecutive year, the Idaho Lottery's annual sales exceeded the previous year. This year's sales were $287.9 million.
During the ceremony, Governor Little presented Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra with a record-setting, $37.5 dividend check. Of that, $22.5 is earmarked for the Department of Education School Building Fund Account for use by the districts, and the remaining $15 million goes to the Department's Bond Levy Equalization Fund. Since inception, the Idaho Lottery has contributed more than $504 million to these accounts in support of Public Education in Idaho.
"Each year, students and educators throughout our state benefit from school improvement projects funded by the Idaho Lottery dividends," Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said. "Not only does this year's funding set a new record, but it brings the three-decade history of Lottery funding for education to a staggering half a billion dollars."
Governor Little also presented Cindy Bateman, Vice-Chair Permanent Building Fund Advisory Council, with a dividend check for $22.5 million. This is the largest amount ever received by the State's Permanent Building Fund. Since 1989, the Idaho Lottery has returned $305.6 million back to the permanent buildings of Idaho.
"The Idaho Lottery has been a meaningful partner for the maintenance, preservation, and development of Idaho's public buildings and state operated facilities for thirty years," said Bateman. "Lottery proceeds each year enables us to restore our historical facilities, provide safe work environments for the Gem State's employees, and enhance the quality of Idaho's college campuses."
The Idaho Lottery celebrates its 30th Anniversary by setting four new records in Fiscal Year 2019. In addition to the record dividend and sales figures, the Lottery also set records for prizes paid to the players ($190 million), and commissions earned by Idaho Lottery retailers ($16.6 million).
The Idaho Lottery's 30th Anniversary celebration will continue this afternoon with a community celebration event along River Street east of 13th Street in downtown Boise. The event features live music, food trucks, the final competition to determine Idaho's Fastest Scratcher, and at 6:05 pm MT, an official Guinness World Records Attempt for the Largest Number of People Scratching Scratch tickets at one time. The event is FREE and open to the general public.
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ABOUT THE IDAHO LOTTERY
The Idaho Lottery responsibly provides a variety of entertaining games featuring Powerball, Mega Millions, Scratch GamesTM, and PullTabs with a high degree of integrity to maximize the dividend for Idaho public schools and the permanent building fund. Since their inception in 1989, the Idaho Lottery has sold over $3.9 billion in products, awarded more than $2.4 billion in prizes to players, returned $232.6 million in retail commissions, and distributed $906 million in Lottery dividends to Idaho public schools and the Permanent Building Fund. To learn more, please visit www.idaholottery.com.