BOISE – The Idaho Lottery celebrated 33 years, one-third of a century of fun and entertainment, by returning a record-setting annual dividend to the People of Idaho, $73 million.
The Idaho Lottery’s announcement came during a ceremony held at White Pine Elementary School in the Boise School District with current Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives Scott Bedke and the Idaho Lottery Commission.
“The Idaho Lottery has proven to be a responsible funding source for Idaho education for over three decades,” Bedke said. “Every dollar matters when it comes to investing in Idaho’s future. Every dollar that is returned by the Idaho Lottery to local communities for schools is a dollar that did not come from taxes. After 33 years, that’s now $1.1 billion.”
Idaho Lottery dividends are used by school districts for building maintenance, repairs, and operational projects. This summer, the Boise School District and White Pine Elementary School utilized their Idaho Lottery dividends to replace the carpet and freshen up the paint at the school.
“We are at White Pine Elementary to witness the reason why the Idaho Lottery was created by a vote of the people thirty-three years ago – to responsibly do good,” said Jeff Anderson, Idaho Lottery Director. “The project at White Pine Elementary is representative of the thousands of projects completed each year by local Idahoans, contractors and their tradesmen, related businesses, and suppliers.”
Speaker Bedke and Idaho Lottery Commission Chairman Craig Corbett awarded the largest single check ever from the Idaho Lottery to support public education in the Gem State. Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra accepted a check for $45,625,000. Of this amount, $27,375,000 goes to the School Building Fund Account for maintenance and operations projects and another $18,250,000 goes to the Department of Education’s Bond Levy Equalization Fund to pay the interest on Idaho’s Public School bonds.
“I am so happy to once again receive a record-setting dividend from the Idaho Lottery on behalf of Idaho’s public schools,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said. “For more than three decades, our districts and charter schools have looked to this generous gift for essential upgrades, repairs and maintenance of school buildings across the state. This year’s dividend of $45.6 million brings the total that Idaho schools have received from the lottery to $629 million over 33 years. That’s worth celebrating!”
Pat Donaldson, Director of the Department of Administration’s Public Works Division, accepted a check for $27,375.000 on behalf of the State’s Permanent Building Fund. Permanent Building Fund dollars support maintenance and capital projects for State-owned facilities and Idaho’s public college and university buildings.
“The Idaho Lottery dividend has been, year in and year out, the largest revenue source for the Permanent Building Fund,” said Donaldson. “These funds are essential for the maintenance and renovation of Idaho’s valuable building assets. The Permanent Building Fund Advisory Council and the Department of Administration’s Division of Public Works truly appreciates our continued partnership with the Idaho Lottery.”
This year’s dividend comes after the single largest sales year for the Idaho Lottery, exceeding $376.3 million in revenue and surpassing the $300 million mark for the second year in a row.
“This is all made possible with funds from the Idaho Lottery, not local or state taxes,” added Anderson.
In addition to the dividend and sales records, the Idaho Lottery also awarded a record amount in prizes to players worth $257.1 million, and the Lottery’s network of 1,200 brick and mortar retail locations earned a record $22.1 million in commissions.