Florida Lottery tops $5 billion sales for 2013
TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Lottery topped $5 billion in sales for the first time during the fiscal year that ended June 30, the department announced Monday. A record $1.41 billion is expected to go into the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, the Lottery reported. Both amounts top the previous highs reached the year before, when sales were $4.45 billion and education transfers were $1.31 billion. In two fiscal years, the Florida Lottery has increased sales by $1 billion. That's the fastest pace to one billion dollars in its 25 years of existence.Lottery contributions have made an impact with more than $1 billion being transferred annually to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund for the past 11 consecutive fiscal years, representing approximately six percent of the state's total education budget. "The Lottery's sole mission is to sell tickets to generate additional funding for education," Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O'Connell said in a news release. "We are extremely proud to be able to transfer this unprecedented amount to the Education Enhancement Trust Fund this year." Gov. Rick Scott said in a release that the increased revenue for Florida's education system means more students will have the opportunity to get a quality education. "The Lottery's education investments build on our success last session to increase state education investments by more than $1 billion and provide teachers with a well-deserved pay raise," Scott said.