VIRGINIA (DC News Now) — While there might have been just one lucky winner of the Mega Millions jackpot on Friday, others benefitted from the drawing, and it is the public school systems across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Virginia Public Schools are also winning big from Friday’s drawing. A portion of the profits from the lottery is set aside specifically for public schools. It doesn’t matter if the money was generated from purchasing a scratch ticket, Mega Millions, or PowerBall.
While the winning ticket for Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot wasn’t purchased in Virginia, the estimated sales generated from that historic run are projected to be around $30.2 million, with all of it headed straight to schools.
Last year, the Virginia Lottery generated more than $766 million for kindergarten through 12th grade. But this is nothing new. The Commonwealth of Virginia began taking lottery profits and putting them back into the education system in 1999 from a state budget amendment. The following year, more than 80 percent of Virginia voters decided to amend a permanent law that created the State Lottery Proceeds Fund. The distribution of lottery proceeds, approximately one-third of lottery sales, used to be determined by the general assembly. It often went to construction projects or the state’s General Fund.
Let’s take a look at how all that money adds up in your community:
- Arlington County Public Schools got around $4.1 million
- Frederick County Public Schools out to the western part of the Commonwealth received around $6.3 million
- Loudoun County Public Schools received a little over $22 million
- Fairfax County Public Schools received around $45 million
- Prince William County Public Schools received a little over $53.5 million, which is the most out of any county in the Commonwealth.
The full breakdown of the Lottery Proceeds Fund is listed on the official Virginia Lottery website.
If you win the lottery and don’t come forward to claim your money, that prize will go to a separate fund for public school construction, renovations, and tech upgrades. Last year, that fund from unclaimed prizes racked up to $10.3 million. Since 1988, the lottery has transferred more than $320 million in unclaimed prizes to the Literary Fund.
So it isn’t just the lottery ticket holder who wins big!