Despite ongoing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Lottery turned things around in an enormous way in fiscal year (FY) 2020-21, achieving record-setting sales of more than $8.4 billion. Those earnings smashed the Lottery’s previous sales record of nearly $7.4 billion, which was set during pre-pandemic fiscal year 2018-19.
Most importantly, thanks to such successful sales, the Lottery raised a record total of more than $1.88 billion to California public schools in FY 2020-21, marking the 21st consecutive year the Lottery has earned more than $1 billion in supplemental funding for public education.
Complete Lottery financial figures are included in the just released Annual Comprehensive Financial Report and Popular Annual Financial Report, which are both available to the public on the Lottery’s website (images below). The latter version is a more digestible summary of Lottery’s financial picture as compared to the comprehensive report which dives deeper into the numbers.
“The Lottery’s continued success in achieving our sales goals and record-setting contributions to public schools is thanks to the resiliency and hard work of our employees and the dedication of our players and the more than 23,000 Lottery retail partners throughout the state,” said California Lottery Chief Financial Officer Nicholas Buchen.
The Lottery’s annual finances are thoroughly audited by an independent, third-party company each year. The audit for FY 2020-21 took longer than usual due to staffing challenges that arose during the pandemic. The audit for FY 2021-22 is still underway, but early indications suggest the stellar performance from FY 2020-21 does not appear to be the end of Lottery’s sales momentum.
“Although the numbers are far from being final, it’s clear that Lottery sales and contribution to education figures for fiscal year 2021-22 will significantly surpass fiscal year 2020-21 levels,” Buchen added.
The California Lottery continues to be one of the fastest-growing lotteries in the U.S. As one of the largest revenue-generating California state agencies, the Lottery continues to play a vital role in providing supplemental funding for schools throughout the Golden State, having raised more than $40 billion for public education since the Lottery began in 1985.
The Lottery is a completely self-supporting state department funded entirely by revenues generated through the responsible sales of games and receives no public funding. Anyone can see how much Lottery money local districts across California receive with the interactive map tool on Lottery’s website.