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1/7/2009 8:40:06 AM


COLUMBIA, SC (January 7, 2009) – Seven years ago, the South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL) made history when the first player bought a South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL) ticket. In 2002, SCEL launched with four instant tickets, and by SCEL’s sixth year of operation has sold a catalog of more than 300 different instant tickets. Currently, 67 instant tickets and five number games: Pick 3, Pick 4, Palmetto Cash 5, MegaMatch 6sm and Powerball® are for sale.

“We are proud of the success we’ve achieved. We would not have risen to such accomplishments without the support of the more than 3,500 retailers who sell our products with such enthusiasm,” said SCEL Executive Director Ernest L. Passailaigue.

Of the funds earned by the Lottery, approximately 26 percent has been transferred to the Education Lottery Account to be appropriated by the General Assembly to support education. More than $2 BILLION has been appropriated to support education from 2002 through June 2009!
• Higher Education Programs and Scholarships have received more than $1.47 BILLION:
o The Endowed Chairs Program at the state’s three research universities has received $180 million; and
o More than 595,000 scholarships have been funded through $1.12 BILLION in appropriations.
• K-12 programs received more than $501 million:
o Including $307 million appropriated to K-5 programs;
o $131 million appropriated to other K-12 programs, including $10 million designated to grades 6-8 programs; and
o $61 million appropriated for new school buses.
• More than $38.6 million has been appropriated to Community Education Programs:
o The Educational Television Network received almost $20 million to upgrade to digital technology; and
o County libraries received $14.7 million.

SCEL’s impact on this state over the last six years has been significant.
• More than $42.1 million has been collected in state income tax withheld on lottery winnings.
• More than $793,185 has been collected from players in the State’s debt set-off program.
• More than $25.8 million was earned in interest by the State Treasurer from net lottery transfers through December 2008.
• Retailers have received more than $464 million in taxable commissions through December 2008.
• SCEL players have claimed winnings totaling more than $3.9 BILLION.

Here are a few more highlights from this past year:
• February 2008 - SCEL launched its own rolling jackpot game, MegaMatch 6sm.
• March 2008 - The first MegaMatch 6sm jackpot is won ($871,715).
• May 2008 - SCEL has its 5th Powerball® Jackpot Winner ($35 million), a native of Gaston.
• July 2008 - Executive Director Ernie Passailaigue is elected Chairman of the Powerball® Group and Vice President of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL).
• November 2008 - SCEL converted to a new computer gaming system offering better service for both retailers and players. For the first time in the Lottery’s history, the new system allows lottery retailers to sell lottery games 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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