CA Schools Win $100M from Mega Millions

32 percent of Mega Millions money will go to state school system, 52 percent to winners

By Lauren Steussy and Paul Krueger
|  Friday, Mar 30, 2012  |  Updated 7:37 PM PDT
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CA Schools Win $100M from Mega Millions

California schools are about to hit the jackpot - or at least 32 percent of it. Alex Traverso with the California Lottery estimates that state schools will receive about $100 million from the Mega Millions lotto.

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California schools are about to hit the jackpot – or at least 32 percent of it.

While hundreds of thousands of lotto-players line up for a chance to win $640 million in the Mega Million Lotto, schools are poised to win regardless of the numbers drawn Friday night.

This is because California schools get about 32 cents of every dollar spent in the state on the lottery, said Alex Traverso with the California Lottery.

Traverso estimated that Californians have spent about $300 million on the Mega Millions Lotto since Jan. 24. This means state schools and universities will win about $100 million.

This may not do much to mend the damage of the past several years' budget cuts. Since 2007, the San Diego Unified School District lost about $500 million in budget cuts. Spending on public univeristies in California has been cut by more than $2.65 billion since 2008.

And spread throughout all schools and universities, more will be funneled into the schools with higher enrollment.

"It's all based on enrollment, so schools with higher enrollment obviously are going to get a little bit larger share of lottery funds," Traverso said.

Over half of the lotto is used for the prizes. The remaining 16 percent is spent on retailer commissions, advertising and administrative fees.

Lotto money is distributed by the State Controller’s Office.

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