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Eye On Boise

Tue., July 24, 2012, 12:06 p.m.

Idaho Lottery turns over record $41.5 million to state’s schools and public buildings

Gov. Butch Otter, left, receives a giant check representing the Idaho Lottery's record $41.5 million dividend this year; the money will be divided between schools and the state building fund. (Idaho Lottery)
Gov. Butch Otter, left, receives a giant check representing the Idaho Lottery's record $41.5 million dividend this year; the money will be divided between schools and the state building fund. (Idaho Lottery)

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― The Idaho Lottery is reporting another record year, posting more than $175 million in sales during the last fiscal year. Lottery officials on Tuesday also turned over $41.5 million to funds benefiting Idaho public schools and public buildings. That amount is the biggest since the lottery started in 1989 and the ninth consecutive year of record dividends. For fiscal year 2012, the lottery reported sales of $175.8 million, up 19.5 percent or $28 million compared to 2011 and the single biggest annual revenue jump in the lottery's history. The $41.5 million dividend is double the $20.5 million payout in 2003. The dividend is being split among three separate accounts ― the Department of Education's public school building account and the state building fund, and a fund that helps match school bond payments.

Click below for the Lottery's full announcement.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Idaho’s Winning Number:  $41,500,000!

Schools Benefit with Ninth Consecutive Record Lottery Dividend

BOISE, Idaho – The most successful year in Idaho Lottery history has translated into the most successful financial dividends for its citizens.   This morning, the Idaho Lottery Commission presented the largest dividend ever returned to the People of Idaho, a $41.5 million check, to Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter during a ceremony in front of the Capitol Annex in Boise.

“The Lottery is exceeding expectations and delivering on its commitment to help support Idaho public schools,” Governor Otter said. “I know the folks at the Idaho Lottery take their stewardship responsibilities very seriously. Their devotion to integrity helps ensure the Lottery pays off – for all of us.”

“No year in Idaho Lottery history has equaled the success we experienced in Fiscal Year 2012.  We launched the most successful Idaho-only draw game in a decade, experienced a world record jackpot run, and made improvements to Idaho’s oldest draw game.  Today, Idaho public schools and the state’s permanent facilities reap the benefits from the Idaho Lottery’s watershed year,” said Idaho Lottery Director, Jeff Anderson. “I would like to extend our gratitude to our statewide retailer network, our vendor partners, and everyone who plays the Lottery. Our accomplishments would not have been possible without your continued support.”

This year’s annual dividend was reached on the strength of record sales by the Idaho Lottery and its network of 1150 statewide retailers.  In Fiscal Year 2012, the Idaho Lottery sold $175.8 million in products, an increase of 19.5% over the previous year.  At more than $28 million over last year’s record tying sales figure, in terms of dollars this year’s increase is the single largest in the Idaho Lottery’s history.

This is the ninth consecutive year for a record for an Idaho Lottery dividend, and in the past ten years, the annual dividend has more than doubled going from $20.5 million in 2003 to today’s mark of $41.5 million.  Both the Department of Education School Building Fund and the Department of Administration’s Permanent Building Fund receive equal amounts of $17,000,000.  The Department of Education’s Bond Levy Equalization Fund received its largest contribution in a single year of $7.5 million.  This amount is greater than the three previous years’ combined contributions of $6.5 million.

“On behalf of Idaho’s public schools, thank you to all the Idahoans who contribute each and every year to our kids’ education through the Idaho Lottery,” said Nick Smith, Deputy Superintendent at the Idaho State Department of Education.  “At the State Department of Education, we work hard every day to ensure every student graduates from high school and goes on to postsecondary education or the workforce without the need for remediation. Your contributions help us in these efforts.”

The Idaho Lottery’s annual dividend presentation took place in front of the Capitol Annex Building, the former Ada County Courthouse that is currently undergoing safety and infrastructure renovation for future use as the Idaho Supreme Court’s Law Library and the University of Idaho’s Law Learning Center.   The renovation is being completed by the Department of Administration using funds provided by the Idaho Lottery to the Permanent Building Fund.

“The annual dividend provided by the Idaho Lottery to the Permanent Building Fund allows for the continued renovation, restoration, and preservation of Idaho’s treasured public buildings,” said Teresa Luna, Director of the Idaho Department of Administration.

The Department of Administration has already completed infrastructure improvements to the building that include providing the facility with the same chilled water service as the rest of the Capitol Mall buildings and adding geothermal heat.  To complete the project, the remaining interior will be demolished and rebuilt, including improvements to the HVAC systems, electrical systems and elevator.  When the restoration is complete, the building’s new tenants will be able to personalize their spaces and take residency.

“We would like to thank the permanent building fund for its commitment over the past several years to the renovation of the Old Ada County Courthouse – we look forward to its completion,” said Duane Nellis, University of Idaho President. “The University of Idaho is anxious to deliver new and needed legal education offerings from this historic building in the Treasure Valley.  We would also like to thank the legislature for its appropriations over the past several years and to the Permanent Building Fund Advisory Council for recognizing the needs of this facility.”

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The Idaho Lottery responsibly provides a variety of entertaining games featuring Powerball, Mega Millions, Scratch GamesTM, and PullTabs with a high degree of integrity to maximize the dividend for Idaho public schools and the permanent building fund. Since their inception in 1989, the Idaho Lottery has sold over $2.3 billion in products, awarded over $1.3 billion in prizes to players, returned more than $136.5 million in retail commissions, and distributed $552.3 million in Lottery dividends to Idaho public schools and the Permanent Building Fund. To learn more, please visit





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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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