CLARKSBURG, WV (WBOY) — The Mega Millions jackpot has reached $660 million, the ninth largest jackpot in history, so some people who do not normally buy lottery tickets might be tempted to make an exception.
But where exactly does the money spent on West Virginia Lottery tickets go?
According to the West Virginia Lottery website, revenue generated from the lottery goes to three main areas that directly help education, seniors and tourism in West Virginia. Since the year 1986, $11.4 billion in proceeds from the West Virginia Lottery have been given back to Mountain State residents.
Since 1986, $3.6 billion in lottery funding has helped with school renovations and construction through the State School Building Authority and provided scholarships and bonds for higher education. Lottery funds have helped upgrade technology in public schools and played a major role in funding the West Virginia PROMISE Scholarship, which provides additional financial aid to high-performing West Virginia higher education students.
Since 2002, $804.5 million has been poured into the PROMISE Scholarship from the WV Lottery and helped 64,605 students.
More than $1.4 billion of lottery revenue has gone toward helping senior citizens since 1986—nearly $39 million per year on average. The funding has helped meet the nutritional, health and long-term care needs of tens of thousands of West Virginia senior citizens through the Bureau of Senior Services and met needs related to senior centers, transportation needs, caregiving, matching Medicaid funding for senior services and property tax credit for seniors.
WV Lottery said that lottery dollars also provide more than two million meals for seniors in West Virginia every year.
$1.3 billion—an average of more than $36 million a year—in lottery revenue has been invested in tourism-related areas in the state and helped the Division of Tourism, the Division of Natural Resources and the State Park Improvement Fund. These funds have helped improve and upkeep West Virginia’s outdoor activities and attractions and promote tourism to the state’s scenic natural beauty.
Today, the West Virginia Lottery generates more than $520 million a year from 40 different games, including the Mega Millions. Since the beginning of the West Virginia Lottery in 1986, players have won more than $3 billion in prizes.
If you want to chance to win the $660 Mega Millions prize through the West Virginia Lottery, the next draw is on Friday, July 22.