10News breaks down Powerball money: Majority of funds won't end up in California schools

SAN DIEGO - The Powerball has arrived in California, but where do those lottery funds go?

The California Lottery Commission says nearly all the ticket money ends up back in the community. 10News has learned most of it will not end up in California schools.

At Old Town Liquor and Deli, the dreams are big and the odds are good, at least in the mind of Lori Slaff.

"I feel lucky," said Slaff.

On Wednesday, Slaff and others bought tickets for the state's first-ever Powerball drawing. If their numbers happen not to be the winning numbers, there is a consolation prize: funding for public education.

On the lottery commission's website, stamped in large lettering, it says 96 percent of the lottery funds goes right back to the community. 

What exactly does that mean? It turns out those numbers include things like the payments to stores and the cost to create the tickets.

10News went digging for answers and here is the breakdown.

According to numbers from the lottery commission, for every dollar you spend on the lotto, 55 cents goes toward the prizes.

About 7 cents is sent to stores for redeeming the tickets or for selling a big winning ticket. About 4 cents is used to fund lottery staff and other operating expenses. Less than 2 cents goes toward game costs such as costs associated with the lotto hardware. In the end, it translates into 32 cents that will be marked for public education.

How does California compare to other states? Rhode Island is the stingiest state, with a mere 11 cents on the dollar going toward public causes. Oregon is the best at 50 cents of every dollar.

Each year, the state lottery contributes some $1.3 billion to public education. That number is expected to grow with addition of Powerball.

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