Dear Fellow South Carolinians:
As the Chairman of the South Carolina Lottery Commission, I am pleased to welcome you to the South Carolina Education Lottery's (SCEL) website. Along with the other Lottery Commissioners, our Executive Director, Hogan Brown, and the entire SCEL staff, I hope you enjoy learning more about SCEL and our products as you explore this site. Since our first ticket sale in January of 2002, we have successfully fulfilled our mission of providing funding to enhance education programs in South Carolina. In fact, since that time we have transferred more than $5.5 billion for appropriation by the General Assembly.
We are mindful of our obligation to raise funds in a socially responsible manner by supporting responsible play initiatives in our advertising messages. Our Marketing expenses are approximately 0.44% of gross sales, down from 0.48% in FY 2018. SCEL also strives to be a transparent, well-run business enterprise. As a percentage of sales, our operating expenses are the lowest of any lottery in the country with annual sales under $4 billion. SCEL’s most recent fiscal year, FY 2019, (ending June 30, 2019) set new records with the following accomplishments compared to FY 2018:
- $487.6 million transferred for education, up from $434.8;
- $1.98 billion in ticket sales, up from $1.75 billion;
- $1.31 billion in prizes winnings to players, up from $1.14; and
- $140 million in commissions earned by retailers, up from $123.5 million.
These figures represent a significant impact on our state's economy.
While SCEL is NOT responsible for deciding which programs are funded with lottery proceeds, more than 1.9 MILLION scholarships have been awarded to hardworking South Carolina students since 2002. Through June 30, 2019, $4.484 billion in lottery proceeds have been appropriated for higher education by the General Assembly (which includes $3.877 billion for scholarships, $255 million for other higher education programs, $180 million for the Smartstate Program™, and $171 million for technology). K-12 has received $960 million (which includes $517 million for enhancement programs for reading, math, science and social studies, $184 million for other programs and the Technology Initiative, $154 million for school buses, and $144 million to support the Education Accountability Act).
We will continue to work even harder as a "traditional" lottery to provide proceeds for education. This stewardship maximizes the funds available to improve education here in South Carolina……which makes for a bright today and an even brighter tomorrow.
I am proud of SCEL, and on behalf of all of us, I thank you for your support and welcome your participation in our worthwhile efforts. Always remember, when you buy a lottery ticket from SCEL, you don't just take a chance, you also give one.
Sam Litchfield, Chairman
South Carolina Lottery Commission