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Texas Lottery generates billions in sales with some going to public schools, veterans

According to the Texas Lottery, ticket sales brought in $8.3 billion last year and approximately $2 billion of that went to public education.

CEDAR PARK, Texas — On Wednesday, thousands of people played the Powerball at locations throughout Texas hoping to win over a billion dollars. That included a store in Cedar Park where a million-dollar ticket was sold on Monday.

“Somebody came and just bought the ticket and won literally one million dollars,” said manager Hassan Abbas.

The Powerball game generates a lot of money in sales, and a portion of that goes toward schools.

"About half of all the proceeds from Powerball go directly to help fund Texas public education," said Texas Lottery Executive Director Gary Grief.

He said in addition to Powerball all the games bring in big money.

"Just to recap, last year we had a record sales year. Overall, that includes the scratch tickets plus all of our draw games of $8.3 billion dollars in total lottery ticket sales. Of that $8.3 billion, approximately $2 billion went, the majority of it, went to public education," said Grief.

He said the money goes to the Texas Education Agency, which decides where it goes.

"It can go for a wide variety of items, school buses, textbooks, desks, you name it. If it's public school related, lottery money goes in that direction."

In 30 years of the lottery history in Texas, more than $29 billion has gone toward public schools. Grief said a portion of the lottery also goes toward veteran programs.

"That money goes over to the Texas Veterans Commission and they in turn make various grants throughout the year to needy veterans organizations," Grief said.

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