OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO)- A new state law dramatically boosting lottery sales will allow the Lottery to increase funds sent to Oklahoma's public education system.
"Sales are up in a big way over last year, and all signs point to the Lottery making a significantly larger contribution to education next year and in the years to come," said Rollo Redburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Lottery.
Total sales since July 1 under the new law are up 40 percent. Sales of instant games are already outpacing sales for the 2017 fiscal year by 60 percent. As a result, the Lottery is projecting a double-digit percentage increase in its contribution to education next year.
"Even without sales related to recent Powerball jackpots, we're still seeing tremendous growth in other games that are helping drive the increases we're projecting to education," said Jay Finks, Oklahoma Lottery director of sales and marketing. "Instant ticket sales are up 60 percent, and that's driving long-term growth and the projected long-term health of increased contributions to education… Not many education funding sources are expecting double digit percentage increases right now, so the timing of this new law has been opportune, to say the least."
House Bill 1837 removed an outdated profit restriction that had hampered Lottery sales since its inception in 2005. The Lottery projects the new law will result in $330 million being sent to education over the next five years, which is a $110 million increase.
"The other smart change legislators made is to start targeting a portion of Lottery dollars where educators wanted them placed to make the highest impact, in reading and STEM," Finks said. "Lotteries nationally are increasingly targeting lottery proceeds to high impact areas, and Oklahoma is now a leader in that area thanks to the work legislators did last session."
Information provided by the Oklahoma Lottery Commission.