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Pennsylvania Lottery proceeds being misused by Gov.

Sep 28, 2016, 12:07 pm

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Includes video report

The Pennsylvania Lottery advertises it "benefits older Pennsylvanians, every day." 

But in the last decade, billions of lottery dollars have been diverted, an investigation found.

According to the state lottery, 27 cents of every dollar spent on lottery tickets goes into the state lottery fund. The rest pays prizes and lottery administration costs. 

"The point of the lottery program is to have people age at home and maintain their independence," Renee Cunningham of Philadelphia's Center in the Park Senior Center said.

By law, other than prize payouts and operation expenses, the lottery fund is only supposed to be used for programs benefiting older Pennsylvanians — including prescription drug assistance, in-home care, transportation, and home maintenance.

Waiting lists for those programs are 4,000 seniors deep, according to senior advocates in Harrisburg.

"Those waiting lists could be eliminated," Ray Landis of AARP Pennsylvania said.  "Let's have a true picture of what the lottery is paying for."

Wolf's administration, including Budget Secretary Randy Albright, said some lottery fund money is used to pay the state's Medicaid bill.  The NBC10 Investigators analysis of state Medicaid recipients found one third are seniors.

"We're forced to rely on using some of those resources," Albright said. 

According to state budget records, in the last fiscal year the Wolf administration used $309 million from the lottery fund to pay for Medicaid's longterm medical assistance programs. However, state healthcare records show fewer than 1 percent of seniors on Medicaid receive longterm care.

"I think that right now we have no alternative," Albright said.  "We need that money to balance the budget."

Wolf's staff provided documentation showing more than 45,000 residents over 60 did receive care from lottery funds. The Wolf administration is not the first to use lottery money to balance the budget. Since 2006, at least $3.9 billion has been taken from the lottery fund for that purpose.

VIDEO: Watch the report

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NBC10

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12 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by Ron5995.
Page 1 of 1
Avatar
Wyomissing, PA
United States
Member #161043
November 15, 2014
481 Posts
Offline

Yikes! Pennsylvania state government is more desperate than I thought to raise funds. On a related note, in-state PA Lottery winnings are now taxed at the state rate of 3.07%. To digress a bit, this is another reason not to take the annuity option, since future payments may be taxed in a manner that one didn't originally plan for.

On the bright side, since it appears PA is so desperate, legalized on-line casino gambling may be coming even sooner.

    Drenick1's avatar - villiarna
    USA
    United States
    Member #152792
    February 25, 2014
    1111 Posts
    Offline

    No surprise here. Pennsylvania isn't the only state misusing lottery proceeds.

      Dd2160's avatar - Lottery-016.jpg
      USA USA
      United States
      Member #134247
      October 22, 2012
      9966 Posts
      Offline

      They not paying us but their hands <hands> sure nough in the pot lmao!!! Sickening!!!

      421 216 301 304 801 890 420  427 608 581 119

      1420 0216 9998 3323 1991 1771 1881 2288 5185 1222

      Gl all.

        luckyshoes's avatar - leaf

        Canada
        Member #79500
        September 2, 2009
        6580 Posts
        Offline

        No shortage of players dumping lots of cash into the till each draw . And little payout at times. Of course the rats were going to eat the cheese. Or in this case the Wolf.

          LottoAce's avatar - WWI Flying_Ace.gif
          N.C.
          United States
          Member #56003
          October 28, 2007
          877 Posts
          Offline

          Why does this not surprise me?

          "know your limitations, but excede your expectations"

            Tatototman65's avatar - Lottery-009.jpg

            United States
            Member #138723
            February 4, 2013
            2971 Posts
            Offline

            No surprise here. Pennsylvania isn't the only state misusing lottery proceeds.

            I Agree!

            Smile

            *If you live in IL and want legal regulated online poker... Click on me
            *
            How much money could Illinois make from regulated iGaming? Click on me

            *If you live in Michigan and want legal regulated online poker... Click on me

              LiveInGreenBay's avatar - driver
              Green Bay
              United States
              Member #169383
              October 15, 2015
              2849 Posts
              Offline

              Yea why help the old people who paid taxes and contributed to society for decades.  Funds going to medicaid?  Why not welfare too!  Sickening!

              Never give up.  Banana

                Avatar
                * In hot pursuit of $ *
                White Shores- California
                United States
                Member #136471
                December 12, 2012
                6812 Posts
                Offline

                Thank Heaven's: The Californian lottery does NOT pull that BS..we won't allow it!"

                 * Voice of Reason *   

                * People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                  winsumloosesum's avatar - Lottery-060.jpg
                  Philadelpia/Pennsylvania
                  United States
                  Member #2218
                  September 1, 2003
                  6742 Posts
                  Offline

                  Hey Wolf how about getting the casinos to pay for your screw-ups.

                    TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                    A long and winding road
                    United States
                    Member #17083
                    June 10, 2005
                    6639 Posts
                    Online

                    Smooth move! He now taxes the wins ... AND.. Will continue to skim from the lottery program...

                    why?.. Because He can. 

                    Correct online gaming is set to be passed.. It's chugging thru .. Just need to clear the smoke from this recent news.. How quick we are to forget.

                    Count your smiles.

                      Groppo's avatar - cat anm.gif

                      United States
                      Member #162624
                      January 7, 2015
                      780 Posts
                      Offline

                      Yikes! Pennsylvania state government is more desperate than I thought to raise funds. On a related note, in-state PA Lottery winnings are now taxed at the state rate of 3.07%. To digress a bit, this is another reason not to take the annuity option, since future payments may be taxed in a manner that one didn't originally plan for.

                      On the bright side, since it appears PA is so desperate, legalized on-line casino gambling may be coming even sooner.

                      .

                      Mr. Ron5995,

                      If I understand correctly, you're saying not to take the annuity (in PA) because of the 3.07% PA will charge all significant lotto winners? Well, how about states, like New York, which charge 8.8%? (according to USAMega)?

                      And, the PA tax, as with ANY of the states, again, according to USAMEGA, doesn't work out, if you go to Jackpot Analysis.  So, given that PA will claim 3.07% in taxing a major lotto winner, their rake is about a 3rd of the prize, for an annuity claimant!

                      Or, is there something else I'm missing from your post?

                      Mr. Groppo

                      • Don't chase the numbers you play.
                      • Play only numbers you've already played, plus however many random picks.
                      • But, ALWAYS the regular numbers you play.  This will make you a winner, not a chaser.
                                 (so far, though, I've yet to win any significant lotto prize)
                      • Oh, but always know where your tickets are, as well as your ticket's deadline.
                        Avatar
                        Wyomissing, PA
                        United States
                        Member #161043
                        November 15, 2014
                        481 Posts
                        Offline

                        PA just started taxing in-state lottery winnings this year. Winners who chose the annuity option prior to 2016 with the expectation of no state tax on payments are now in for a surprise when they are taxed an additional 3.07% they didn't plan for.

                        Worse, the PA state rate, as your examples illustrate, could increase significantly over the upcoming years. While it's highly unlikely the PA earned income rate will increase much anytime soon, there's another possibility of a separate higher tax being levied for lottery winnings. Lottery winnings are easy pickings. PA already has one of the highest casino taxes in the country; PA is desperate.

                        Bottom line is choosing an annuity is especially risky due to future tax changes, which are increasingly likely, as states struggle to balance their budgets.

                        On a related topic, be aware the USAMega chart depicts the minimum required withholding, not the actual tax due, which could be upwards of 14% more. Many jackpot winners owe additional tax come filing time. Something USAMega doesn't make fully clear; mentioned in a small blurb at the bottom. Would love to see the chart revised with an additional column showing the maximum possible tax impact to further emphasize the withholding amount typically isn't the actual tax due.