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Washington's Lottery: Where the Money Goes, How it Matters

Washington’s Lottery Shares How $253.1 Million in Lottery Proceeds Are Used to Benefit State Residents


OLYMPIA, Wash. (February 15, 2024) – Washington’s Lottery is excited to share with Washington residents where the money from Lottery sales went this past year. Last fiscal year, Washington’s Lottery generated $253.1 million for programs that benefit communities throughout the state, including education, economic development, responsible gambling, and more.


“When Washington’s Lottery was established in 1982, it funded human service programs, schools, natural resources, and more. More than 20 years ago, voters approved a change so that now proceeds from Washington’s Lottery primarily benefit education programs,” said Joshua Johnston, Director of Washington’s Lottery. “It’s important for people to know where the money goes and how much of an impact it has across our state."


"With its proceeds, Washington’s Lottery continues to make a positive difference in the lives of people across the state, from children attending pre-school, to students receiving grants for their college or career training, and even to the mom-and-pop shop owners working to support their family by selling lottery tickets."

The primary education beneficiary Washington’s Lottery is especially proud to support is the Washington Opportunity Pathways Account (WOPA). In fiscal year (FY) 2023, Washington’s Lottery provided $199.9 million to WOPA, which funds college grants and scholarships, early childhood education, vocational excellence programs, charter schools, and other education programs across the state. Through these funds, Washington’s Lottery helped benefit several important education initiatives, including:


  • Giving $40 million annually to the state’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), which provides critical services to more than 15,000 children at 440 locations across the state. Children in state-funded pre-K programs like ECEAP see long-lasting positive effects, including increased grade progression, high school graduation, and college enrollment.

  • Providing $141.6 million to the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), which supports increased student success and higher levels of educational attainment in Washington.

  • $139.1 million helped support the Washington College Grant, a financial aid program that supported 29,500 college students and apprentices across the state last year.

  • The remaining $2.5 million helped fund the College Bound program to help eligible students attain a college or training degree or credential.

Lottery sales in FY23 also allowed for increased contributions to other beneficiaries of Washington’s Lottery, including $45.5 million to the General Fund, $7.3 million to the Economic Development Account, and $500,000 to combat problem gambling.


"When you play, all of Washington wins."

“Our contributions each year wouldn’t be possible without Lottery sales, which are all because of our fantastic players and retailer partners,” said Johnston. “This last fiscal year alone, players took home $618.8 million in prizes, while retailers earned more than $50.3 million in annual sales commission. These earnings can make a great impact in communities across Washington state.”


Since its inception, Washington’s Lottery has generated more than $5.3 billion for programs benefiting Washington.


“With its proceeds, Washington’s Lottery continues to make a positive difference in the lives of people across the state, from children attending pre-school, to students receiving grants for their college or career training, and even to the mom-and-pop shop owners working to support their family by selling lottery tickets,” said Johnston. “When you play, all of Washington wins.”


Making a Difference in Washington State

Since 1982, Washington’s Lottery has generated more than $5.0 billion to support several important state programs, including providing much-needed funds for the Washington Opportunity Pathways Account (WOPA). In FY22, WOPA received $176.6 million from the Lottery, enough to pay college tuition for more than 9,900 Washington residents. It also provided approximately 25% of the annual budget for the state’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, which provides critical services to more than 15,000 children at 440 locations across Washington.


Washington’s Lottery Beneficiary Fact

Washington’s Lottery is very proud to be a financial supporter of the state’s Early Childhood Education & Assistance Program (ECEAP). The $40 million annual investment the lottery makes in ECEAP has lasting effects. Children who participate in ECEAP are more likely to be kindergarten-ready than non-participants, and those who participate five or more hours per day are especially prepared in reading and math.* Children in state-funded pre-K programs like ECEAP see long-lasting positive effects, including increased grade progression, high school graduation and college enrollment.**


About Washington’s Lottery: 

The state’s Lottery offers consumers several types of games, including Mega Millions, Powerball, Lotto, Hit 5, Match 4, Pick 3, Cash POP, Daily Keno and Scratch. For more information, visit www.walottery.com or find us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram at @walottery.


Keep it fun. Know your limit. Washington’s Lottery is an advocate for responsible gaming and collaborates with the Evergreen Council for Problem Gambling to provide resources for those in need. More information is available at www.walottery.com/Responsibility.


Press Contacts

Dan Miller (Curator on behalf of Washington’s Lottery): dan.miller@curatorpr.com

Xiamara Garza (Curator on behalf of Washington’s Lottery): xiamara.garza@curatorpr.com

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