Politifact Virginia: Where does Virginia Lottery money goes to?

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email | facebook

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Just about every single person from Virginia can tell you what the money from the Virginia lottery goes to. But is that claim true? We take a look in this week's politifact Virginia report.

Here is the statement direct from the lottery's web site: "Since 1999, all Virginia lottery profits have been used for public education in the Commonwealth, for kindergarten through 12th grade."

But is that actually where the cash goes? According to the writers of politifact Virginia- that claim is "mostly true"

The lottery has done their best to steer the $312 million in profits they raise directly to public education. But they aren't in charge of allocating the cash.

That is the responsibility of the governor and the legislature.

Prior to 2008 the money was just lumped in with the rest of the state's $16 billion general fund. From there it was then doled out to schools and the dollar for dollar transfer was impossible to track.

In 2008, the process changed a bit and now a separate account takes the money in and doles it out.

According to Richmond Times-Dispatch's Warren Fiske from politifact Virginia, that means prior to 2008 we really don't have any idea if the money went where it was supposed to.

"The money that comes into the general fund is almost like a rain drop and these rain drops fall into the reservoir and then can you trace and individual rain drop through the reservoir into somebody's bathtub? It's just about impossible to do," he said.

And you can see all the information behind this week's Politifact Virginia report on their web site, www.politifactvirginia.com and you can see all our past reports on my political blog, www.decisionvirginia.com.

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