where does oregon lottery money go

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Oregon Lottery ads say they’ve put millions into parks, schools, etc. Where is the evidence? Why don’t they list how much was given to X entity? Where does the money go? Is this a scam? —You Never Know

Not to rain on your parade, Never—I’m sure you’re a well-intentioned liberal like everyone else in Portland—but that’s exactly the attitude that put Donald Trump in the White House.

Google “Oregon Lottery dollars” right now. I’ll wait. The very first result takes you to a page with a pie chart and a drop-down menu of every county in Oregon. That menu, in turn, will take you to a spreadsheet containing information on every project that Oregon Lottery money has funded in that county, including exact dollar amounts. You can’t miss it.

They have brochures, too, and press events, and at least one full-time employee whose entire job is to get this information to penetrate your skull. So the fact that you’re asking this question—and asking it in a rather truculent, chest-poking fashion, to boot—is a pretty clear example of what’s wrong with our polity.

The problem is not that, like you, Americans don’t know the answers to basic questions about government. And it’s not that we make no effort to learn those answers—though God knows it’s easy enough to do. It’s not even the fact that we actively avoid this information, leaping from our armchairs with a Velcro-like sucking sound to change channels every time a media outlet seems in danger of explaining something useful.

No, the problem is that—having defended our brains against all civic knowledge with the ferocity of Henry at Agincourt—we then present OUR OWN IGNORANCE as proof of a conspiracy. “Well, I certainly haven’t seen those lottery numbers—what are they hiding? Is this a scam?” All we can do now is hope the rising tide of stupidity reaches the point where we literally forget how to vote. Which, to be fair, could happen.

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When you play, Oregon Wins

Funded Programs

State Parks

Natural Habitats

Economic Growth

Outdoor School

Public Schools

Veteran Services

91% of Lottery dollars paid out to Winners

Who wins the Oregon Lottery? Real people just like YOU. Every day, from every corner of the state, they win big and small and we love celebrating all of them!

Highlighted Project

Fivemile-Bell Restoration Project

Through the Fivemile-Bell restoration project, habitats are being restored for endangered native species.

Where the Money Goes

Since it began selling tickets in 1985, the Lottery has grown to become the second largest revenue producer for the state, following income tax revenues and continues to do good things for Oregon. Since 1985, the Lottery has transferred over $9 billion to help support public education, economic development, state parks and watershed enhancement. It has also paid players over $28 billion in prizes.

History of the Oregon Lottery

To help jump-start Oregon’s ailing economy and support economic development and job creation throughout the state, the Oregon Lottery was established in 1984 by Oregon voters.

On April 25, 1985, the Oregon Lottery began selling its first game, a Scratch-it called “Pot of Gold.” By November of that year, Oregon’s Game Megabucks℠followed as the first computer-operated lottery game in Oregon.

A new multi-state lottery game, Lotto America, is launched, with Oregon as one of the seven original members. The game is now Powerball and is played in 47 lottery jurisdictions.

The Oregon Lottery is now offering Keno, PowerballВ®, Daily 4, Breakopens (pull-tabs), and Video Lotteryв„ games (poker only) throughout the state. The Video Lottery gaming system served as a milestone, as it was the first 24-hour, centrally controlled gaming system in the country.

Oregon voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing Lottery funds to be used for public education. Today, 53% of Lottery dollars go to public schools.

Oregon voters again add a constitutional amendment to allow Lottery dollars to go to natural resources that include watershed enhancement and funding to State Parks. A total of 15% of Lottery funds go to these programs.

When you play, Oregon WinsFrom the natural beauty of the state park you love to the folks working at your neighborhood store, your Lottery dollars fund what matters most to Oregonians.