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How Georgias lottery compares
Hill Jack
State Sen. Jack Hill

Georgia had the fifth largest gross total sales of all lottery systems in the U.S. in fiscal year 2014. Of the top lottery systems, the Georgia Lottery transferred the second smallest percentage of sales back to the state in FY14. Georgia’s transfer of 23.5 percent of total sales was lower than all but the Massachusetts Lottery, which transferred 20 percent of its total sales to the state treasury.

The remaining eight lottery systems in New York, Florida, California, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois and Ohio all transferred between 3.4 and 10.89 percentage points more than the Georgia Lottery. Among these 10 lottery systems, however, Georgia transferred more nominal dollars than two lottery systems (Illinois and Ohio) but less than the other six.

Population growth—feeds Lottery gains?

According to U.S. Census estimates, Georgia’s population grew 1.03 percent between FY13 and FY14. A growing population logically would indicate that receipts from the lottery should be rising. The Georgia Lottery at 1.9 percent, however, is not increasing its transfers to education at the same rate as other states with similar population growth.

The state of California had similar population growth as Georgia in FY14 with it population increasing by .97 percent. California increased lottery transfers to the state by 5.12 percent, while Georgia only increased transfers by 1.9 percent. North Carolina has a similar total population as Georgia and experienced similar population growth of .97 percent in FY14. The North Carolina Lottery was able to increase its FY14 transfers to the state by 4.7 percent over FY13.

An increase in transfers can also be seen in states that are not experiencing a growth in population. Pennsylvania’s population growth rate for FY14 was only 0.05 percent, indicating that their population remained virtually the same as the previous year. However, the Pennsylvania Lottery was still able to increase its FY14 transfers to the state by 4.18 percent.

A similar situation exists in Ohio, where population increased by only .19 percent for FY14 but lottery transfers to the state increased by 12.6 percent from FY13. Maybe population growth has little to do with growing lottery sales, but nominal growth as low as Georgia’s could be explained from population growth as opposed to better strategies or management as easily as not.

Compare population/transfer percentages

These population growth estimates come from Census projections for 2013 and 2014, based on the 2010 Census’ total population count. Actual changes in population may be slightly different from year to year.

Population growth/Increase in transfers
Georgia 1.03 1.90
Florida 1.49 4.99
California 0.97 5.12
N. Carolina 0.97 4.70
New Jersey 0.3 -11.06
New York 0.26 4.18
Pennsylvania 0.05 3.62
Illinois -0.08 -5.12
Ohio -0.19 12.6
Texas 1.7 0.54

From this list, we can see states’ lotteries’ transfers are all over the map — some up, some down. But one thing sticks out; Georgia’s Lottery doesn’t lead the way as some lotteries have found ways to increase transfers.

Next: Are Georgia’s Lottery Expenses Higher?

Legislation and final action may be accessed online at and the state budget can be accessed online at the Senate Budget and Evaluation Web site

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