On November 8, 1988, Idaho citizens voted to approve the creation of a self-governing, state operated Lottery. No General Fund revenue supports Lottery activities. January 1, 1989 and on July 19, 1989 the Idaho Lottery sold its first ticket.
In Fiscal Year 2011 and for the first time in its 22-year history, the Idaho Lottery returned a eighth consecutive record-setting dividend to the people of Idaho. During a presentation in the Governor’s Ceremonial Office at the Idaho State Capitol this morning, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter accepted a dividend check from the Idaho State Lottery Commission for $37 million on behalf of the citizens of Idaho. Over the course of 22 years, the Idaho Lottery now has returned a total of $510.8 million to the people of Idaho.
“Idaho’s public schools and public buildings are the beneficiaries of the Idaho Lottery’s success. And that means Idaho taxpayers are the real winners here,” Governor Otter said. “None of that would be possible without the responsible play of Idaho citizens and visitors to our state, or without the commitment to transparency and integrity that our great Lottery employees, vendors and retailers ensure every day.”
The Idaho Lottery also surpassed a monumental threshold for sales at the end of Fiscal Year 2010. With record annual sales of $147.2 million for FY11, the Idaho Lottery has now surpassed the $2.1 billion sales threshold as an enterprise for the State since selling its first $1 ticket on July 19, 1989.
“This year marked a historic achievement in the success of the Idaho Lottery. With this year’s dividend, we have now returned more than half-a-billion dollars to the citizens of Idaho,” stated Jeff Anderson, Idaho Lottery Director. “It was also a banner year for our players, our dedicated retailer network, and for the true winners of the Idaho Lottery, our beneficiaries: Idaho public schools, the Permanent Building Fund and the Bond Levy Equalization Fund. Thank you to every one for supporting us this past year.”
Historically, Lottery dividends are shared by Idaho’s Public School Building Account and the Permanent Building Fund. A statute change in 2009, which sunsets in 2014, sets aside a portion of Lottery funds above the Fiscal Year 2008 funding level of $34 million for the Bond Levy Equalization Fund. This year, the Bond Levy Equalization Fund will receive $3 million, bringing the two-year total to $6.5 million since the law was changed.
The Idaho Lottery’s record-setting year produced seven new millionaires and more $500,000 and higher winners per capita on multi-state draw games than anywhere else in the country since December 1, 2010. For the first time in its history, Idaho recorded a Mega Millions jackpot winner, sharing the second largest jackpot in United States Lottery history with Washington. For the fourth time in five years, Idaho also had a Wild Card jackpot winner. In addition, six players, three on Powerball, two on Mega Millions, and one on the Idaho $1,000,000 Raffle won $1,000,000. In total, 19 players won over $200,000 and 154 players won over $10,000, both individual records. This year, the Idaho Lottery paid out over $89,900,000 in prizes other than multi-state jackpots.