FILE - Georgia Lottery

(The Center Square) – The Georgia Lottery collected more than it ever has for education in fiscal year 2021.

Georgia Lottery Corp. officials said it generated more than $1.5 billion in profit for the state’s pre-K and HOPE Scholarship programs in the fiscal year. The lottery collected $1.23 billion in fiscal year 2020, reflecting a $307.6 million increase.

“Coming out of a difficult year, these Georgia Lottery numbers are welcomed good news for both our students and our economy,” Gov. Brian Kemp said Monday in a statement. “From Pre-K to HOPE, lottery-funded educational programs provide the groundwork for a lifetime of learning and help us retain our best and brightest students. We are confident that these funds will continue to ensure that Georgia is the best state to live, work, and receive a great education.”

The HOPE scholarship covers around 75% of college tuition for Georgia college freshmen. The Georgia Pre-K Program offers free, state-funded education to 4-year-olds.

Under the Georgia Lottery Act for Education, net proceeds from the Georgia Lottery help support educational programs in the state. A little less than a quarter – 24% – of lottery revenue supports education. Another 60% funds prizes, and the remaining 16% pays retailer commissions, administrative costs and other miscellaneous expenses, according to the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute (GBPI).

The Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $23.8 billion for education. More than 1.9 million students have received HOPE scholarships, and more than 1.6 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.

Fiscal year 2021, which ended June 30, was the 10th consecutive year of growth in profits for education and the sixth consecutive year the lottery has earned more than $1 billion for the programs.

“Over the past year, like many organizations, we faced numerous challenges,” Georgia Lottery President and CEO Gretchen Corbin said. “We pivoted, made adjustments, and worked hard each day with a focus on Georgia’s students and our mission to maximize revenues for HOPE and Pre-K.”

Staff Reporter

Nyamekye Daniel has been a journalist for five years. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times. Daniel's work has also appeared in the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and The New York Times.