How New York Lottery Proceeds Are Spent

A scheme for raising money by selling chances to share in a distribution of prizes by chance. Traditionally, the prize fund is a fixed percentage of ticket sales. Modern lotteries can involve cash or goods.

Lottery proceeds are used to supplement public education funding in the state of New York. The Lottery supports K-12, community college, and specialized institutions by using Average Daily Attendance (ADA) and full-time enrollment as measurement criteria for allocations. The Lottery also awards supplemental funds to localities to address specific needs. To learn more about how Lottery money is spent, click or tap a county on the map, or type a county name in the search box.

The lottery has a long history of use in many cultures. It is documented in the Old Testament as an early method for dividing land, and Roman emperors gave away property and slaves by lottery during Saturnalian feasts. The practice of allocating property by lot is also found in Chinese Han dynasty documents and a Japanese poem written in the 16th century.

In colonial America, lotteries were an important source of public financing for roads, schools, libraries, colleges, canals, bridges, and other infrastructure projects. They were also used for military conscription and the selection of jury members.

The purchase of lottery tickets can be accounted for by decision models that incorporate expected value maximization, but more general models based on utilities defined on things other than the outcomes of the lottery may explain lottery purchases as well. For example, some people may buy tickets to experience a thrill and indulge in a fantasy of becoming wealthy.

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