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Lottery - CalEdFacts

This content is part of California Department of Education's information and media guide about education in the State of California. For similar information on other topics, visit the full CalEdFacts.

Since the California State Lottery began in 1985, the state has distributed 50 percent of lottery sales revenue back to the public in the form of prizes. Of the remaining revenues, public education, from kindergarten through graduate school, has received more than the statutorily required 34 percent minimum, with the state using less than the maximum 16 percent legally allowed to administer the games. In 2010, legislation was passed that modified the allocation formula for lottery in order to maximize the amount of funding allocated to public education. The legislation reduces the maximum percent to administer the games to 13 percent and allows the State Lottery Commission to increase the percentage of lottery revenues for prizes to more than 50 percent and to establish the percentage to be allocated to public education. If the change in law does not provide more revenues for public education than the year prior to the law’s enactment, the prior revenue-allocation law will be restored.

The law authorizing the lottery requires school districts including, charter schools, to use lottery funds “exclusively for the education of pupils and students” and specifies that “no funds shall be spent for acquisition of real property, construction of facilities, financing of research, or any other non-instructional purpose.” In March 2000, voters passed Proposition 20, known as the “Cardenas Textbook Act of 2000.” Proposition 20 provides that, beginning in the 1998-99 fiscal year, one-half of statewide growth in lottery funds for education over the level set in the 1997–98 fiscal year must be allocated to school districts and community colleges for the purchase of instructional materials.

The lottery provides about one percent of total kindergarten through grade twelve (K–12) funding. As such, lottery sales revenue represents only a small part of the overall budget of California’s K–12 public education that cannot alone provide for major improvements in K–12 education. In the 2009–10 fiscal year, lottery allocations to K–12 education totaled $125.88 per pupil in average daily attendance (ADA) of which $110.37 per ADA was for unrestricted lottery revenues and $15.51 per ADA was for Proposition 20 revenues. The California Department of Education estimates state lottery allocations in 2010–11 will total $133 per ADA of which $115 per ADA will be unrestricted and $18 per ADA will be restricted pursuant to Proposition 20.

For further information on lottery funds, contact Stel Cordano, School Fiscal Services Division, by phone at 916-327-0378 or by e-mail at scordano@cde.ca.gov. Additional information is also available under related links on the Lottery Web page.

K–12 Lottery Revenue Allocations
1985–86 Through 2009–10
Fiscal Year Non-Proposition 20 Proposition 20 Total K–12 Payments Non-Proposition 20 Amount per ADA Proposition 20 Amount per ADA Total Amount per ADA

1985–86

$555,457,022

n/a

$555,457,022

$125.67

n/a

$125.67

1986–87

$410,880,929

n/a

$410,880,929

$89.68

n/a

$89.68

1987–88

$647,361,315

n/a

$647,361,315

$138.78

n/a

$138.78

1988–89

$843,557,516

n/a

$843,557,516

$176.08

n/a

$176.08

1989–90

$783,026,959

n/a

$783,026,959

$154.47

n/a

$154.47

1990–91

$645,693,335

n/a

$645,693,335

$128.64

n/a

$128.64

1991–92

$400,869,886

n/a

$400,869,886

$76.55

n/a

$76.55

1992–93

$495,625,449

n/a

$495,625,449

$92.51

n/a

$92.51

1993–94

$556,290,312

n/a

$556,290,312

$101.63

n/a

$101.63

1994–95

$642,689,584

n/a

$642,689,584

$115.83

n/a

$115.83

1995–96

$691,363,263

n/a

$691,363,263

$120.71

n/a

$120.71

1996–97

$610,907,801

n/a

$610,907,801

$105.10

n/a

$105.10

1997–98

$675,117,674

n/a

$675,117,674

$113.67

n/a

$113.67

1998–99

$701,247,002
$26,386,933

$727,633,935

$114.69
$4.50

$119.19

1999–2000

$723,561,511
$45,846,953

$769,408,464

$115.45
$7.53

$122.98

2000–01

$788,283,761
$113,586,258

$901,870,019

$123.41
$18.07

$141.48

2001–02

$754,825,838
$98,921,311

$853,747,149

$116.13
$15.24

$131.37

2002–03

$724,398,500
$81,987,888

$806,386,388

$110.81
$12.55

$123.36

2003–04

$757,542,932
$115,444,731

$872,987,663

$114.79
$17.44

$132.23

2004–05

$798,071,559
$150,062,564

$948,134,123

$119.87
$22.46

$142.33

2005–06

$846,124,405
$193,845,610

$1,039,970,015

$127.20
$29.35

$156.55

2006–07

$807,655,540
$152,613,447

$960,270,987

$121.61
$23.71

$145.32

2007–08

$761,197,651
$115,361,690

$876,559,341

$113.79
$16.47

$130.26

2008–09

$726,758,831
$86,522,812

$817,777,318

$108.54
$13.38

$121.92

2009–10

$732,404,482
$106,531,561

$838,936,043

$110.37
$15.51

$125.88

Note: Amounts for some prior years do not match figures found in previous Fact Books. The amounts were changed to reflect adjustments for prior year revenues and actual ADA.

Source: California Department of Education, School Fiscal Services Division, August  2010

Questions: Stel Cordano | scordano@cde.ca.gov | 916-327-0378 
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