Even If You Don't Win Lottery, Schools do

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

Several hundred, if not thousands, of local Lansing folks were feeling lucky Tuesday.

The Mega Millions jackpot was $330 million, but late in the day it jumped to $355 million, the second largest in Mega Millions history.

"When you have a jackpot this high," Andi Brancato of the Michigan Lottery said, "you have people that have never played before dreaming about what they would do with $330 million, so our sales really took off."

But it's not just those in Michigan vying for the top prize, people in approximately 40 other states and territories are also playing.

So what if you're not the one person out of 175 million who wins big? There are still benefits for stores like Tony's and for our state schools.

"Even though the lottery proceeds are a small percentage of the total pot, every dollar is important for public education in Michigan," Martin Ackley of the Michigan Department of Education said.

Michigan schools received about $700 million from the lottery last year, which equals about 6 percent of the total School Aid Fund.

"Those are dollars that go toward how we re-imagine how we educate our kids in Michigan," Ackley said. "So that money can go to improving technology in the classrooms and expanding early childhood programs among other things."

A bigger jackpot means bigger sales, and potentially more profit for Michigan schools in the next fiscal year. So even if you don't win, Michigan schools do.

"This could certainly help us in having a higher than anticipated profit," Brancato said.

Since it began in 1972, the Michigan Lottery has contributed approximately $15 billion to Michigan schools.

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