Kentucky Lottery: Where Does the Money Go?

Written By Veronica Sparks on January 19, 2022
Money from the KY Lottery flies to the benefit of people in the Bluegrass State.

You may not think gambling in Kentucky would give state residents educational opportunities, but that’s exactly what playing the Kentucky Lottery does.

Since 1989, the Kentucky Lottery has generated a lot of money through ticket purchases. Some revenue goes to winners and retailers who sell lottery products. But the rest of Kentucky’s lottery revenues get invested right back into the state.

Here’s where all that lottery money goes in Kentucky.

A breakdown of KY Lottery revenue distribution

The majority of the money generated by the lottery goes into the pockets of winners, where it belongs. The Kentucky Lottery distributes the remainder of the funds between the Commonwealth of Kentucky and retailers.

Less than 12% of revenue goes toward administrative costs or to retailers.

  • 67%  received by lottery winners in cash prizes and rewards.
  • 22%  invested back into the state of KY.
  • 6%   paid out to retailers who sell Lottery products.
  • 5%   goes to pay administrative costs for the lottery.

How Kentucky uses lottery money

Thanks to lottery revenues, almost $6 billion has been tossed back into the state. The state invests a large chunk of the money in state education programs.

Over the years, lottery sales added $1.8 billion to the state’s general fund and K-12 education programs.

$4 billion has been given to scholarship and grant programs that help fund college education for Kentucky residents.

With the billions of dollars generated by the lottery, 20% of Kentucky residents have received education financial aid.

This means that, with over two million grants and scholarships awarded so far, the state lottery has already helped 820,000 students pay for college education.

The Kentucky Lottery funds multiple education programs

The Kentucky Lottery helps fund specific education programs through the state’s College Access Program (CAP).

For students facing financial challenges, CAP helps those who wouldn’t typically afford higher education by providing tuition assistance. These students can attend:

  • Public and private universities and colleges
  • Proprietary schools
  • Technical colleges

Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES)

Rewarding Kentucky high school students that work hard to get good grades, KEES gives scholarships to those that maintain high GPAs. Each year that a student earns 2.5 or higher earns them tuition for college.

Dual Credit Scholarship Program

Both high-achieving high school and homeschooled students often take dual-class credits. The program allows eligible students taking dual credit classes at a participating Kentucky college or university to receive assistance for up to two classes.

Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship

Since not everyone’s goal is to get a four-year college degree, Kentucky’s lottery funds also support a program for students headed in a different career direction. Work Ready helps residents pay for education ranging from short-term certificates to Associates Degrees in fields with high-paying jobs.

Kentucky Tuition Grant

The Kentucky Tuition Grant helps families that can’t afford tuition to send their full-time students to attend private colleges in the state, up to nearly $3,000 a year.

Kentucky National Guard Tuition Award Program

Not all heroes wear capes, but all deserve our thanks. The program covers 100% of Kentucky public college’s part-time or full-time tuition costs for active Kentucky National Guard members.

In conclusion, when you play the Kentucky Lottery, you don’t just get the chance to win big. Obviously, you can also be proud because you’re funding Kentucky’s educational programs, helping Bluegrass State students dream big and go far.

Photo by Yeti studio/Shutterstock
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