Education Aid

The New York Lottery’s primary objective is to raise money to support education in the state. If you buy a ticket for any game, you are helping local schools at the same time as giving yourself an opportunity to win huge cash prizes. This page explains how the NY Lottery gives back to the education system.

How much money goes to state education?

As the lottery is a government body and the prizes are public funds, the New York Constitution requires that all net proceeds from games go towards the support of schools. Over $64 billion has been funnelled into helping K-12 public education throughout the state since 1967, helping children all the way from kindergarten to 12th grade.

The contributions in Aid For Education have steadily increased over time and in the 2017-18 fiscal year a total of $3.37 billion was raised to support schools in New York, putting it ahead of any other state lottery in the US. Over $2.4 billion came from traditional lottery play (including scratch-off games), while the other $970 million was generated by Video Lottery Gaming.

The following table shows how the revenue from traditional lottery play was broken down in 2017-18. A total of $7.9 billion was generated and the money was distributed as follows:

Where The Money Went in 2017-2018 Amount % of total
Prizes $4.8 billion 60.7%

Education Aid

$2.4 billion 30.3%

Retailer Commission

$475 million 6.0%

Gaming Contractor Fees and Other Direct Expenses

$118 million 1.5%

Other Operating Expenses

$121 million 1.5%

The table below shows how the profits from Video Lottery Gaming were distributed in 2017-18. Credits played during the year totalled $38.3 billion and credits won came to $36.2 billion, leaving a net win of over $2 billion.

Where The Money Went in 2017-18 Amount % of total
Education Aid $970 million 47.5%
Video Gaming Facility Commissions $913 million 44.7%
Gaming Contractor Fees and Other Direct Expenses $156 million 7.6%
Other Operating Expenses $4 million 0.2%

New York law dictates that video gaming facilities must use their commission to make payments to support horse racing in the state.

Money Raised By Each Game

Whether you play a multi-state lottery such as Powerball or Mega Millions, or a daily draw such as Numbers, the money you spend on tickets is used to help fund public K-12 schools throughout the state. The following table shows the total sales for each New York Lottery game in 2017-18, together with how much of the revenue went to education aid. The games are ranked in order of total sales and their contributions to education.

Game Total Sales Education Aid
>Scratch-offs >$4.17 billion $921.4 million
>Win 4 >$927 million $384.1 million
>Numbers >$887.3 million $367.6 million
>Quick Draw >$793.1 million $249.3 million
>Powerball >$408 million $169 million
>Mega Millions >$311.7 million $129.1 million
>Take 5 >$238 million $98.6 billion
>Cash4Life >$94 million $34.2 million
>New York Lotto >$71.4 million $36.7 million
>Pick 10 >$29.5 million $12.2 million

Which schools benefit?

The money raised from ticket sales is used to support education across over 650 school districts. The contribution to each district depends on a number of factors, including its size and income level. School districts with a lower income level receive a greater share of funding in proportion to districts with a higher income level.

The New York Gaming Commission does not decide on the contribution to each district. It is calculated by a statutory formula and is in line with how the Education Department distributes other state aid.

In 2017-18, New York City – including the counties of Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and Richmond – received over $1.3 billion in aid to education. The county with the next highest amount of funding was Suffolk, which was given $262.9 million to support local schools. The following table shows the five counties that received the largest contributions in 2017-2018:

County Aid to Education
New York City (including Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and Richmond counties) $1.3 billion
Suffolk $262.9 million
Erie $197 million
Monroe $168 million
Nassau $152 million