When voters approved the creation of the Texas Lottery in 1991, the money from ticket sales and unclaimed prizes went into the state's general fund, which meant it could be used for a variety of purposes. In 1997, a portion of that money started going toward public education.
Currently, the majority of lottery money (63 percent) is paid out to winners. Nearly 10 percent goes to retailer commissions and administrative costs, while 27.1 percent goes into the Foundation School Fund. The rest — about 0.4 percent — funds the Veterans Assistance Program.
The Texas Lottery Commission said it put $1.3 billion in the Foundation School Fund in the 2017 fiscal year and has contributed $21 billion since 1997. For comparison, the Texas Legislature set aside $42.7 billion for public education in the 2018-19 budget.
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