Department of the Lottery

What is the purpose of the Lottery?

The Florida Lottery was created to allow the people of the state to benefit from significant additional moneys for education while playing lottery games. The mission of the Florida Lottery is to maximize revenues in a manner consistent with the dignity of the state and the welfare of its citizens.

How does the Lottery operate?

The Lottery is headquartered in Tallahassee, with nine district offices located throughout the state that provide field support services to retailers and act as prize redemption and sales centers.  Through a statewide network of approximately 13,000 full-service retailers including gas stations, grocery, and convenience stores, the Lottery sells a variety of draw games, scratch-off games, and fast play games (instant games that print from a retailer terminal).

How are vending machines used to distribute Lottery products?

The Lottery installed 1,000 scratch-off ticket vending machines in 2009 and another 500 in 2010, mostly in the Lottery's highest selling retailer locations around the state. In 2012, the Legislature enacted Ch. 2012-130, Laws of Florida, authorizing full service vending machines to sell both scratch-off and draw game tickets. In November 2012, the Lottery finished installing 500 full service vending machines in currently participating retailer locations. In 2018, the Legislature authorized the Lottery to contract for up to 1,000 full-service vending machines with functionality to sell terminal tickets and instant tickets. In addition, the Legislature authorized the department to have a maximum of 1,500 full-service vending machines with functionality to sell only scratch-off tickets.

How are winning tickets redeemed?

Winning tickets of less than $600 may be redeemed at any Lottery retailer or Lottery district office, the Lottery's headquarters, or by mail. To redeem a prize of $600 or more, the prizewinner must complete a Winner Claim Form. Prizes from $600 to $250,000, and Mega Millions and Powerball prizes of up to $1 million, may be redeemed at any of the Lottery's nine district offices. All winning tickets of $250,000 or less may be mailed to the Florida Lottery for prize payment. Prizes greater than $250,000 and Mega Millions and Powerball prizes over $1 million must be claimed in person at the Lottery's headquarters in Tallahassee. 

What is the Retailer Integrity Program?

The Lottery developed a Retailer Integrity Program that includes Lottery staff visiting and testing Lottery retailers using winning Lottery tickets to ensure the retailers are properly paying prizes to players for winning Lottery tickets, and are compliant with Lottery retailer rules and procedures. In these operations, retailers are selected for visits both at random and also based upon complaints from players. When tickets were not correctly processed for payment and an attempt was made to steal a player's winnings, store personnel have been arrested and the retailers' contracts have been suspended and/or terminated. The Lottery also investigates complaints received from players in an effort to ensure the integrity and fairness of the operation of the Lottery and with players' interactions with Lottery retailers. Information regarding criminal activity that is discovered or received by the Lottery is either acted upon the by the Lottery or forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

How are Lottery revenues distributed?

Gross revenues from the sale of lottery products are distributed to prizes, Lottery expenses, and transfer to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund. Pursuant to s. 24.121(1), Florida Statutes, the Lottery determines the variable percentage of the gross revenue from the sale of draw and scratch-off tickets that is returned to the public in the form of prizes in a manner designed to maximize the amount of revenue earned to enhance education. Gross sales revenue also is used to pay the expenses associated with running the Lottery, including the cost of its retailer network, draw and scratch-off game vendors, advertising vendors, and its in-house operation.  The remainder of gross sales revenue is transferred to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.

How much revenue is generated for educational enhancement?

In Fiscal Year 2018-19, lottery sales increased to $7.151 billion compared to the prior year’s sales of $6.701 billion (an increase of $450.4 million).  Lottery transfers to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund for Fiscal Year 2018-19 were $1.927 billion, $168.7 million (9.6%) more than the prior year.  Transfers for Fiscal Year 2018-19 exceeded the legislative standard of $1.801 billion.

How are educational enhancement funds used?

For Fiscal Year 2020-21, the Florida Legislature appropriated $2.2 billion in Educational Enhancement Trust Funds to benefit Florida's schools and students.

The largest portion of Educational Enhancement Trust Funds, 40% ($893 million), was appropriated to Florida's school districts. The $893 million included $176 million for school construction, $135 million for school recognition, $104 million in operating funds to reduce class size, $388 million for the Florida Educational Finance Program, and $91 million for school district workforce education programs. 

The Legislature also appropriated 29% ($652 million) to Bright Futures Scholarships, 27% ($598 million) to state universities and community colleges, and 3% ($72 million) to student financial aid.

How do the Florida Lottery's operating expenses and sales compare to those of other U.S. Lotteries?

Compared to other U.S. lotteries, the Florida Lottery had the second lowest operating expense rate in Fiscal Year 2017-18, behind Massachusetts. Florida ranked 11th highest among U.S. lotteries in per capita sales for Fiscal Year 2018-19.

How are these activities funded?

The Lottery is self-supporting and receives no general revenue. Prizes and retailer commissions are paid directly from sales revenues and do not appear in the department's appropriation shown below. In Fiscal Year 2018-19, prizes totaled $4.638 billion and retailer commissions totaled $398.2 million.
Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Title Fund Dollars Positions
PROGRAM: LOTTERY OPERATIONS
186,969,779
418.50
TOTAL
186,969,779
418.50

Updates

The Florida Lottery recently released a new player's guide website as a resource to access information and tips to help guide players in making informed decisions throughout their Lottery experience.  From knowing the benefits of playing responsibly, to being informed of the necessary steps to claim a Florida Lottery prize, the website provides the tools needed to keep the fun in playing, for those 18 or older. 

    Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

    A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

    Where can I get more information?

    Other Reports
    2019-20 Education Appropriations - Funded by the Educational Enhancement (Lottery) Trust Fund, Department of Education, February 2020.

    Department of the Lottery - Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and Financial Audit - For Fiscal Years Ended June 30, 2019 and 2018, Auditor General Report No. 2020-086, December 2019.

    Department of the Lottery - Advertising and Sponsorship and Selected Administrative Activities - Operational Audit, Report No. 2020-011, August 2019

    Department of the Lottery - Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and Financial Audit - For Fiscal Years Ended June 30, 2018 and 2017, Auditor General Report No. 2019-090, December 2018.

    Department of the Lottery - Office of Inspector General's Internal Audit Activity - For the Review Period July 2017 Through June 2018 - Quality Assessment Review, Auditor General Report No. 2019-032, October 2018.

    Department of the Lottery - Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and Financial Audit - For Fiscal Years Ended June 30, 2017 and 2016, Auditor General Report No. 2018-078, December 2017.

    Department of the Lottery - For Fiscal Years Ended June 30, 2016 and 2015 - Financial Audit, Auditor General Report No. 2017-103, January 2017.

    Department of the Lottery - Selected Administrative Activities and Prior Audit Follow-Up - Operational Audit, Auditor General Report No. 2017-019, September 2016.

    Department of the Lottery - For Fiscal Years Ended June 30, 2015 and 2014 - Financial Audit, Auditor General Report No. 2016-080, January 2016.

    Department of the Lottery - Office of Inspector General's Internal Audit Activity - For the Review Period July 2014 Through June 2015 - Quality Assessment Review, Auditor General Report No. 2016-038, November 2015.

    The Auditor General reports on department operations are available on its website.

    Websites of Interest
    Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling
    La Fleur's
    Multi-State Lottery Association
    National Council of Legislators from Gaming States
    North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries
    Performance Information


    Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

    What are the applicable statutes?

    Article X, Section 15, Constitution of the State of Florida, Ch. 24, and s. 20.317, Florida Statutes.

    Whom do I contact for help?

    Florida Lottery Customer Service, 850-487-7787 or contact form

    Website