Did you know that The Oklahoma Education Lottery has generated more than $500 million for public education in Oklahoma since its inception in 2005?
Yes, I said $500 million!
That’s money that would have not have been available for public education in our state if voters had not supported an Oklahoma lottery.
Yet, some lawmakers continue to call the education lottery a failure. One Republican lawmaker called it a “miserable failure” recently. The Lottery Commission maintains that the program is a success.
In 2002, former Gov. Brad Henry estimated that the Oklahoma lottery would generate $300 in revenue each year. The reality is that the lottery generates about $70 million each year.
Some say that’s a failure?
Really? To me, $70 million raised annually is still a pretty good number.
It may help if we lifted certain restrictions from the lottery commission, like where games and tickets can be sold and the types of games that can be offered.
In addition, if lawmakers would consider increasing Oklahoma lottery sales and reduce the minimum profit requirement, that Education Lottery could offer more competitive prizes and thus increase profits to education.
Still, our legislators have failed to change the law which requires 35 percent of Oklahoma lottery earnings to go to education.
Whether or not you agree with the lottery or not is moot. It’s here and it’s legal. So, why not make it more profitable for education?
Remember, this Oklahoma lottery has generated half a billion dollars for Oklahoma public school education – it’s money our students need.
With the way the state budget looks this year, I think our state needs all the help it can get.