Nets $1.313 billion for Texas public schools and $16.2 million for Texas veterans
Players won more than $3.3 billion in prizes
Even without the benefit of a record-setting jackpot like 2016's $1.6 billion Powerball prize, the Texas Lottery achieved $5.077 billion in sales for fiscal year 2017, breaking the sales record it set just last fiscal year and resulting in a total contribution of $1.334 billion to Texas schools and veterans.
"This is the seventh consecutive year that the Texas Lottery has reached record sales," said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery. "Due to the amazing work of our staff, retailers and our trusted vendor partners, the Texas Lottery was able to offset the lack of record jackpots with record-setting scratch ticket sales, which led to outstanding sales and revenue results."
The Texas Lottery has experienced an $890 million increase in sales over the past five years representing 21 percent growth over that period of time.
This year's revenue transfer included $1.313 billion to the Foundation School Fund and $16.2 million to the Fund for Veterans' Assistance, the Lottery's largest contribution to Texas veterans. The Texas Lottery has now contributed more than $21 billion to Texas public education and more than $80 million to Texas veterans since the dedication of such funds by the Texas Legislature.
Education and veterans benefit
The Foundation School Fund, administered by the Texas Education Agency, funds the operational needs and special program services for Texas school districts including teacher salaries, utilities, equipment, bilingual education, special education, gifted and talented education, and career and technical education.
The Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans' Assistance makes grants available to eligible charitable organizations, local government agencies, and Veterans Service Organizations that provide direct services to Texas veterans and their families. With 1.7 million veterans spread across the state, these programs provide financial assistance, transportation services, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder counseling and housing assistance.
Strong scratch ticket sales
Scratch ticket sales for FY 2017 totaled $3.94 billion, the highest scratch ticket sales in Texas Lottery history. Scratch ticket sales accounted for 77.5 percent of total sales and saw a 5.9 percent increase of $219.4 million over FY 2016 sales.
In addition to record-breaking sales, the Texas Lottery's careful spending kept administrative costs to just 4.6 percent of FY 2017 sales, one of the lowest administrative expenditure rates in the country.
"The cost containment measures taken in our administrative budget continue to contribute to our success," said Grief. "Any unspent administrative funds are returned directly to the Foundation School Fund."
FY 2017 was also a great year for Texas Lottery players and retailers. Players collected $3.327 billion in prizes, the highest amount of prizes paid out in Texas Lottery history. For the almost 18,000 retailers that sell lottery tickets across the state, commissions amounted to $253.9 million, the highest commission paid to retailers in Texas Lottery history.
"I am very proud of the significant support we continue to provide for Texas education and veterans," said J. Winston Krause, chairman of the Texas Lottery Commission. "I want to commend Texas Lottery employees, retailers and vendors for once again doing an outstanding job of developing, managing and marketing our portfolio of scratch tickets and draw games."
FY 17 by the Numbers
- $5.077 billion in annual sales is greater than the annual sales for many well-known brands including Levi Strauss, Coach, Hyatt Hotels and Barnes & Noble.
- This is the 14th consecutive year that the Texas Lottery generated more than $1 billion in revenue for Texas.
- The Texas Lottery introduces approximately 90 scratch tickets every year.
- $1 billion could fund 19,000 teacher salaries or 22 million 5th grade digital textbooks or 8,500 new school buses or 825,000 student computers or quality after-school programs for 400,000 students.
- 97 percent of Texas Lottery sales are returned to the state in the form of contributions to the Foundation School Fund, the Fund for Veterans' Assistance and other state programs, and through prizes and retailer commissions, bonuses and incentives.
Executive Director leads years of success
Every organization has its ups and downs, but under the leadership of Gary Grief, the Texas Lottery has generally been very successful, despite being burdened by an unusually obsessive local lottery critic who makes a living trying to make the lottery look bad.
In fact, Grief has been an integral part of the success of the Texas Lottery Commission since its inception.
He was appointed in 1991, by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, to the original eight-member Lottery Task Force assigned to research and launch the Texas Lottery. In 2002, Grief was appointed by the Commission to serve the first of what would be three separate terms as acting executive director. Between and after these appointments, Grief served as deputy executive director until his official appointment as executive director in 2010.
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