As most CASBO members know, the California Lottery’s mission is to raise supplemental funding for California’s public schools. In an effort to highlight the Lottery’s commitment to transparency as well, there’s a new feature on the Lottery website that allows the public to follow the dollars.

The new, interactive tool helps people see how much Lottery funding goes to schools by county and by school district. Website visitors can now see where the nearly $2 billion raised annually goes, right down to the local level. The Lottery recently unveiled this tool to the public, securing media coverage across the state, including in The Sacramento Bee as well as in the Bay Area.

“We developed this follow-the-dollars feature on our website to help Californians better understand the true purpose of the Lottery,” said Alva V. Johnson, California State Lottery Director. “We exist solely to generate additional money for public schools, and this tool demonstrates our commitment not only to our mission but our commitment to transparency as well.”

Over the past 37 years, the Lottery has contributed more than $39 billion to California’s public schools. The Lottery gave more than $1.8 billion to public schools in fiscal year 2020-21, which is about 1% of the state’s annual budget for public schools.

Since the Lottery’s inception, California’s public schools have used their Lottery contributions in many creative ways. In the past, at least one school used their funds for technology, building a “nerve center” which granted complete internet access for each and every classroom.

Another school used their funds to create a “Farm Lab,” the first certified organic farm in the U.S. to be owned by a school district. Other schools used their Lottery funds for books, equipment and furniture, things that may not seem exciting but are required for schools to function.

The Lottery knows a lot of the money also helps pay for the retention of stellar school employees as well; those stories are important too because, as we all know, talented teachers, administrators and other staff ultimately help California’s public school students.

Call to Action

The new map and search tool work on mobile devices. Additionally, in some cases, people can narrow the search even further by looking at how much Lottery funding has gone to a specific school. The new feature, however, stops short of showcasing the programs, services, and talented teachers and other school professionals the Lottery funding helps pay for.

In order to dive deeper on these dollars, the Lottery’s Communications Team is now asking for your help to learn how they’re spent so they can amplify positive stories throughout California’s communities about the different ways schools are using their Lottery funds to benefit students. Stories can be showcased on the local news, on social media, via an email blast … or all of the above!

If you’d like to participate, please send stories of how your school or school district uses Lottery funding to the Lottery Communications Team at, and they’ll reach out to work more closely with you to feature these wonderful stories.