By Dave Williams
Capitol Beat News Service
ATLANTA - The Georgia Lottery has transferred more than $1.2 billion in profits from the fiscal year that ended June 30 to education, a record in the program’s 27-year history.
The fiscal 2020 transfer brings the total the lottery has contributed to the HOPE Scholarship and prekindergarten programs to more than $22.3 billion.
“The Georgia Lottery’s monumental success is a milestone to celebrate,” Gov. Brian Kemp said. “By funding HOPE and Pre-K, the Georgia Lottery continues to help Georgia’s students gain a high-quality education from start to finish, which ultimately makes our state stronger and more competitive.”
Fiscal 2020 marked the fifth consecutive year the lottery has surpassed $1 billion in profits for education and the ninth consecutive year of growth in funding to education.
Breaking the all-time record was in doubt in March, when revenues took a dip as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in Georgia.
But sales rebounded during the final quarter of the fiscal year as players became more familiar with online playing. Also, many lottery retailers remained open while most other forms of entertainment were limited.
“As with all companies, 2020 has been an historic year, challenging us to the max, which makes me even more honored to report this record year of returns for education,” said Gretchen Corbin, the Georgia Lottery’s president and CEO. “Our team has been laser focused on delivering the greatest amount possible to the state in a year where we first focused on outpacing 2019, the year of one of the largest jackpots in history, and then added COVID-19 challenges to our goal to surmount.”
More than 1.9 million Georgia students have received HOPE benefits since the program’s inception, and more than 1.6 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.