The Mississippi Lottery announced its latest transfer to the state’s general fund that will help fund both K-12 and higher education programs.
According to the state law that created the lottery, the first $80 million in proceeds goes to road and bridge construction and maintenance, with anything over that amount being contributed to the state’s Education Enhancement Fund.
So far, after May’s transfer of more than $14 million to the state general fund, the lottery has now contributed more than $129 million to the state’s general fund. That leaves more than $49 million contributed in fiscal 2021 to the EEF.
This fund is largely funded by sales tax revenues and splits its funds split between K-12, community colleges and universities.
In fiscal 2020, the EEF distributed more than $49 million for general K-12 education programs and more than $218 million to the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, which distributes funds to school districts. The state’s universities received more than $66 million, while community colleges received more than $44 million from the EEF.
The Mississippi Lottery is in its second, full year of operation and has already outstripped a comparable lottery, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, when it comes to second-year revenue growth.
Arkansas transferred $82.77 million in the lottery’s first year and $94.25 million the following year, an increase of 13.86 percent. Arkansas’ lottery was founded in 2009 by an amendment to the Arkansas state constitution and had its first full year of operation in 2010.
With one month remaining in the fiscal year, the year-to-year growth in Mississippi Lottery transfers to the general fund have exploded by 82.5 percent, increasing from $70.7 million in fiscal 2020 to $129 million this year.
The Mississippi Lottery was authorized by an amendment to the state’s constitution in 1994, but it took until the 2018 special session of the Legislature for the legislation to make it to the governor’s desk for signature. It was part of a multi-million infrastructure improvement package.
The only prohibitions on vending for the lottery is at Mississippi rest areas and for stores exclusively devoted to selling lottery tickets.