Lottery Returns Sixth Consecutive Record Dividend on 20th Anniversary
ÔÇïBOISE, Idaho ÔÇô In the shadow of the state Capitol, the Idaho Lottery marked its 20th Anniversary today by returning its sixth consecutive record dividend to the people of Idaho. During a community celebration in Boise's Capitol Park, Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter accepted a dividend check for $35 million on behalf of Idaho citizens. The Idaho Lottery sold its very first ticket on the steps of the Idaho Capitol in July 1989.
In addition to the annual dividend check, Idaho Lottery Commission Chairman Roger Jones, Idaho Lottery Director Jeff Anderson and 2005 Powerball Jackpot Winner Brad Duke presented Governor Otter with a check representing the 20-year dividend provided to schools and public buildings for $437.3 million.
"The Idaho Lottery has been a winner for Idaho since it began 20 years ago ÔÇô a winner for our public schools and buildings, a winner for Idaho businesses, and a winner for our communities," Governor Otter said. "Behind that success is a team dedicated to upholding the fairness, integrity, and responsible play that have been the hallmarks of the Idaho Lottery since day one."
"We've reached a significant milestone in the history of the Idaho Lottery today," announced Anderson. "With the support of all our players and behind the strength and commitment of our statewide retailer network, the Idaho Lottery had a record year in sales, grossing nearly $140 million. Today's dividend, and those of the previous nineteen years, would not be possible with out everyone's efforts. Thank you Idaho, for a long lucky streak!"
On July 19, 1989, the Idaho Lottery sold its very first Idaho Match 3 Scratch ticket. Since then, the 20-year economic opportunity to Idaho businesses has resulted in over $1.86 billion in product sales with retailers earning more than $108 million in commissions. In addition to creating 22 new millionaires, the Idaho Lottery has awarded nearly $1.1 billion in prizes to its players.
For the seventh time in eight years, and the second consecutive year, the Idaho Lottery's annual sales exceeded the previous year. This year's sales improved by 2% over last year's record making Idaho one of the few Lotteries in the nation that saw a sales increase this past fiscal year.
With the assistance of Ken Covert, the all-time winner of $2.78 million on Wild Card, Governor Otter presented Nick Smith, Deputy Superintendent for School Support Services at the Idaho State Department of Education with a $218.15 million dividend check representing the total dollar amount returned to Idaho public education since 1989.
"Over the past 20 years, the Lottery has raised more than $200 million for classrooms across the state. On behalf of the State Department of Education, I want to thank Idahoans across the state for supporting Idaho students through the Idaho Lottery," Smith said.
The State of Idaho's Permanent Building Fund was the final recipient of the day's events. Two-time, top prize Scratch Game winner Carrie Mulligan of New Plymouth, assisted Governor Otter with the presentation of a twenty-year dividend check totaling $218.15 million to Mike Gwartney, Director of the Idaho Department of Administration.
"The contribution from the Idaho Lottery to the preservation, protection, and maintenance of Idaho's public buildings has been immeasurable in the past twenty years," said Gwartney. "The provision of Lottery resources allows us the continued opportunity to provide safe work environments for the Gem State's workforce, maintain our historical facilities, and improve the quality of every college campus in Idaho."
The Idaho Lottery celebrated its 20th Anniversary by setting six new records in Fiscal Year 2009. In addition to the record dividend and sales figures, the Lottery also set records in Scratch ticket sales ($88.4 million), total prizes paid to the players ($84.2 million), commissions earned by Idaho Lottery retailers ($8.4 million), and the total number of players (145) who won $10,000 or more.