$13.5 million in three months! Nebraska Lottery gives back

Since 1993, the Nebraska Lottery has distributed more than $978 million.

$13.5 million in three months! Nebraska Lottery gives back

Did you know that playing the lottery gives you a chance to contribute to your community? The Nebraska Lottery does just that. Over the last quarter, it distributed $13.5 million to worthy causes across the state.

Benefiting Nebraska

Since its launch in 1993, the Nebraska Lottery has distributed more than $978 million across its beneficiary funds. The latest distribution, made in March 2024, benefited:

  • Nebraska Education Improvement Fund: $6 million
  • Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund: $6 million
  • Nebraska State Fair Support and Improvement Fund: $1.3 million
  • Compulsive Gamblers Assistance Fund: More than $135,000

Voters in Nebraska determined the distribution formula in 2004. This formula allocates lottery proceeds to:

  • Education (44.5%): Currently directed to the Nebraska Education Improvement Fund
  • Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund (44.5%)
  • Nebraska State Fair (10%)
  • Compulsive Gamblers Assistance Fund (1% and the first $500,000 in fund proceeds each fiscal year)

These beneficiary funds have seen significant growth over time. The Nebraska Education Improvement Fund holds $163 million, the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund has $420 million, the Nebraska State Fair Support and Improvement Fund has $74 million, and the Compulsive Gamblers Assistance Fund has $21 million.

Previously funded programs

Before 2016, proceeds also benefited the Education Innovation Fund ($174 million) and the Nebraska Opportunity Grant Fund ($100 million). Prior to 1997, the Solid Waste Landfill Closure Assistance Fund received $18 million. In 2004, a one-time transfer of $5 million went to the State General Fund.

Grant distribution

Each beneficiary fund establishes criteria for distributing proceeds, following legislative mandates. These grants ensure every Nebraska county benefits from lottery proceeds. Here is a deeper look into how these funds are used:

  • Nebraska Education Improvement Fund: This fund supports various educational initiatives across the state, from early childhood programs to higher education scholarships.
  • Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund: This fund finances projects that protect Nebraska's environment, including clean water initiatives, park improvements, and wildlife conservation.
  • Nebraska State Fair Support and Improvement Fund: This fund helps maintain and improve the Nebraska State Fairgrounds, ensuring a vibrant annual event for residents.
  • Compulsive Gamblers Assistance Fund: This fund raises awareness about problem gambling and provides support services to those struggling with addiction.

More than games

The NE Lottery surpassed $3.5 billion in total sales by December 2021. They offer scratch tickets and lotto games while generating revenue for good causes. Responsible gaming is a priority, and they offer resources and information to help players maintain healthy habits.

Voters approved a state lottery amendment in 1992, paving the way for its creation in 1993. Nebraska was the 37th state to launch a lottery.

The Nebraska Lottery today

The NE Lottery offers Scratch tickets ranging from $1 to $20 and games like Pick 3, Mega Millions, and Powerball. Scratch ticket sales began in 1993, followed by Lotto tickets in 1994.

Enjoy the Nebraska Lottery, and please play responsibly.