Michigan Lottery – A Look at What Happens Thanks to All that Revenue

Every year more than 70% of Michigan adults buy at least one lottery ticket, and about 45% buy one every month. To give you an idea of the kind of numbers that translates into, there are some 7.5 million adults living in the state of Michigan.

Final results for the 2019 fiscal year weren’t available at press time, but according to the Michigan Lottery, its “financial impact” for 2018 was $3.6 billion in revenue, the third consecutive year of $3 billion-plus sales. That revenue breakdown looks like this:

Prizes paid to players: 62%

School Aid Fund: 26%

Retailer and vendor commissions: 9%

Operations and administration: 3%


Direct state benefits: 97 cents of every dollar

Every dollar that the Lottery provides to the $13 billion School Aid Fund is a dollar that doesn’t have to come from taxpayers. In the 2018 fiscal year, the Lottery provided about 7% of the money in the School Aid Fund.

Here are other ways to crunch the numbers. Retailers saw $266.5 million in revenue from commissions and players won $2.2 billion in prizes, both records. A record $941.3 million went to the School Aid Fund. Since 1972, the Lottery has provided more than $22 billion to support public schools in Michigan.

“Several factors contributed to Lottery’s success in 2018, including strong relationships with our retailers, research and development of new game ideas, exceptional teamwork across the organization, and the greatly appreciated support of our players,” said Michigan Lottery Commissioner Brian O. Neill.

GLBM spoke with Jeff Holyfield of the Michigan Lottery. He said that supporting responsible gaming is a core value of the organization. The Lottery earned a Responsible Gaming Verification through the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries and recertification of its online program through the National Council on Problem Gambling.

Holyfield added that the Lottery provides $1 million each year to the Department of Health and Human Services to fund statewide education and treatment programs for problem gambling. There is a helpline number printed on all tickets, and other resources are listed on the Lottery website: michiganlottery.com. The Lottery urges players to remember: “Knowing your limits is always the best bet.”

The Lottery’s online game services include responsible gaming safeguards not found in gaming elsewhere in Michigan. Those safeguards include:

Self-exclusion periods

Daily and weekly deposit limits

Play history to monitor gaming activity

In 2014 the Lottery launched the Excellence in Education program to recognize outstanding individual educators who go “above and beyond” to make a difference in the lives of their students. The educators selected for the program’s weekly award win a plaque, $1,500 cash and a $500 grant for their classroom, school or school district. Winners also are featured in a news segment on four TV stations, including Lansing’s FOX 47.

The Michigan Lottery’s mission is to maximize revenues to support public education, to provide fun and entertaining games of chance, and to operate all games and functions with total integrity.

Did you know that . . .

Lottery players reflect the state’s population, including being almost evenly split by gender


Ethnicity parallels 2010 U.S. Census results

75% of players have annual income of $25,000 or more

43% have annual income of $50,000 or more

40% have college or post-graduate degrees

37% have some college

20% have completed high school

About 10,500 Michigan retailers sell Lottery products

So, there you have it, a rundown of what the Michigan Lottery does with all that money ticket buyers generate every year. Saying that a lot of good comes from all that revenue is a very safe bet.




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