Giant Jackpots Boost State Budgets

Monday 24 February 2014 – The giant jackpots seen recently in Powerball and Mega Millions are being credited with boosting ticket sales as well as state budgets. Colossal jackpots often garner significant attention from both the media and hopeful players, leading to an increase in ticket sales and therefore state revenue.

The jumbo jackpots have come about as a result of changes made over the past two years which include Powerball’s decision to double the minimum jackpot value and eradicate jackpot caps, and Mega Millions’ decision to introduce a minimum jackpot of $15 million with rollovers adding at least $5 million to the jackpot. As a result of the better prizes and bigger jackpots on offer, both lotteries now attract a higher number of players and gain greater revenue which, in turn, benefits the state.

More than 91 million tickets were sold for Wednesday’s Powerball draw which offered a jackpot prize of $425 million. This is more than double the amount of tickets sold for the previous draw, which boasted a $330 jackpot, demonstrating the tremendous impact big jackpots have on nationwide ticket sales.

Lottery revenue contributes to most states’ budgets and helps to fund a variety of services such as education and public safety. At least 25¢ of every dollar spent on lottery tickets is channelled back into the community and is spent on anything from police officers to services for the elderly, although the majority of states choose education as their main beneficiary.

Lottery officials have said that even after prize money, retailer commissions, advertising, and administrative costs have all been taken into consideration, around $20 billion of the $70 billion annual lottery revenue is used by participating states to improve their services. These additional funds make a huge difference and Texas Lottery Commission executive director Gary Grief said “It helps alleviate the drain on other revenue sources for state government.”

So if you weren’t lucky enough to win a prize in one of the Powerball or Mega Millions big draws, rest assured your money is still being used wisely and is benefitting the services that you or community rely on.

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