How much from lottery sales goes to education?
With the frenzy surrounding last week's historic Mega Millions jackpot over, the attention turns to the profits from the ticket sales and where they wind up. While it's all earmarked for school funding, our Lori Chung explains why huge jackpots won't necessarily mean a huge bumps in aid for New York schools.
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NEW YORK STATE -- More than a half-billion dollars up for grabs. Ticket after ticket sold to Mega Millions hopefuls. But loyal players we spoke with seemed a bit skeptical about where the profits from those ticket sales will wind up.
"It certainly doesn't go into education like they promised," one person said.
“It goes for education, uh administration?" another said.
Though the $640 million jackpot winners have been decided, lottery officials say New York scored big itself in the multi-state game with more than $150 million in sales. And they say at least $50 million of that will indeed go toward schools.
"This year, for example, school aid from the state to local governments is about $20 billion and about $3 billion of that comes from the lottery," said Frank Mauro, Fiscal Policy Institute Executive Director.
That system means little chance of directly tracking lottery profits to say a new gym or updated text books. Frank Mauro of the Fiscal Policy Institute says those monies are estimated by state budget advisors, worked into a general fund. Any excess revenue rolled over like cell phone minutes.
Mauro said, "If the lottery brought in more money this year than it was predicted to bring in, then that's added to the prediction for next year."
So as some analysts predict jackpots that reach the billion dollar mark, the tax burden for school funding on property owners is unlikely to abate. Despite the number of those likely to be taking a chance on luck.