COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Education Lottery set a new state record by bringing in over $52 million more in revenue this year than last year.
South Carolina Education Lottery Executive Director Hogan Brown said that the lottery has seen increased sales for a few different reasons. One reason is the selling of a $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot. The winning ticket was drawn in October and claimed in March. Brown said another reason for record revenue earnings was an increase in the number of people buying scratch-off tickets.
Residents in South Carolina have a chance to win each week, with three people winning $100,000 or more since July 10.
This year, $1.3 billion dollars went to prize money for winners and $487 million was transferred to the S.C. legislature for education.
Brown said the SCEL doesn’t have control over how much of the increased earnings will go to education programs next year.
“That decision is for the general assembly,” Brown said. “Our role is to raise funds for education and to do it in a responsible manner and then turn those funds over and let the general assembly make those appropriations.”
Lottery retailers also broke a record by bringing in $138 million in commissions.
Since the lottery began in 2002, over $3.8 billion has been put towards scholarships and grants for students at two- and four-year colleges in South Carolina.
The scholarships, including the Palmetto Fellows scholarship, LIFE scholarship, and Hope scholarship, provide aid to South Carolina residents who attend an in-state colleges or universities.
Brown said he hopes the lottery continues to be as successful in future years.
“The lottery is designed to be entertainment,” Brown said. “It’s designed to have a positive impact on all of South Carolina and it’s meant to be fun.”