Missouri, Kansas Have Very Different Plans for Lottery Revenue

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Powerball jackpot will turn someone into an instant multimillionaire - but there are other winners as well, as a large portion of each state's lottery earnings goes back to the state.

Over the past 26 years, the Missouri Lottery has contributed over $4 billion to the state, while in Kansas that total is $1.3 billion. That's a lot of money, but Kansas and Missouri have different ways of spending that money.

In Missouri, officials say that 25 cents of every dollar spent on lottery tickets goes directly to public education. In fiscal year 2012, that amount totalled over $273 million distributed to programs like A+, Virtual School and special education programs, along with scholarships for secondary education.

"If (students) have great grade point averages and they've done scholastically very well, we provide education for scholarships for that purpose," said Rick Johnson of the Missouri Lottery. Although the lottery contributes only around four percent of the state's funding for public education, officials say that every little bit helps.

"Our response is it has a great value, its going back to the community," said Johnson. "It provides immediate funding. Every month we give the money directly to education."

Missouri Lottery officials say that this week's Powerball jackpot, which has been accruing since October 3rd, will generate around $10 million for the state of Missouri - going directly to education.

In Kansas, lottery revenues are spent differently. In the past fiscal year, $72 million from lottery sales went directly to the state - with $42 million going to the state's Economic Development Initiatives Fund and $22 million going to the state's general fund. Another $7 million was put into a fund for juvenile detention and correctional institutions.

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