Georgia, South Carolina lottery programs sees record year

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF/AP) — The Georgia Lottery is reporting record-breaking annual profits used to pay for educational programs.

Gov. Brian Kemp’s office says in a news release that the lottery transferred more than $1.2 billion into the state’s account that funds HOPE scholarships and free pre-kindergarten for 4 year olds. The profits are for the 2019 fiscal year that ended June 30.

Kemp said it’s the largest transfer of funds for education in the lottery’s 26-year history. The lottery has raised more than $21 billion total for education programs during that time.

Kemp said the news marks “a record-breaking investment in our students, workforce, and economy.”

State officials said it’s the fourth consecutive year that Georgia Lottery profits have exceeded $1 billion.

Meanwhile in South Carolina, the lottery has posted a record year for revenue.

The South Carolina Education Lottery said in a Thursday news release that the lottery set records in the last fiscal year for proceeds raised for education, prizes paid to players and commissions earned by retailers.

The lottery raised $487.6 million for education programs during the fiscal year that ended June 30. Players won more than $1.3 billion in prize money during the fiscal year.

The lottery organization said the selling of a $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot ticket in October and a sustained interest in instant scratch-off games contributed to the record year.

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