Georgia Lottery reaches $25 billion milestone

Kemp touts revenue that’s gone to pre-K program, HOPE scholarships

State officials on Thursday celebrated a major moment for the Georgia Lottery nearly 30 years in the making.

Gov. Brian Kemp gathered with lottery officials at the Georgia Capitol to mark $25 billion in lottery revenue that’s gone to support educational programs since the lottery’s inception in 1993.

Kemp accepted an oversized ceremonial check made out to “Georgia’s students” to spotlight the occasion.

“Today certainly marks a special milestone for the Georgia Lottery Corp., our state as a whole and the numerous students who have benefited from those lottery-funded programs, some of them twice,” he said.

Lottery proceeds fund the HOPE scholarship program, which helps Georgia students attend in-state colleges. It also supports Georgia’s prekindergarten program.

More than 2 million Georgia students have benefited from the college scholarship and grant program. More than 1.7 million 4-year-olds have benefited from the prekindergarten program, lottery officials said.

“The impact of lottery-funded HOPE scholarships and the pre-K program goes far beyond the classroom. It makes our workforce stronger, our state a more sought-after destination for job creators and helps make our communities such great places to live, work and raise our families,” Kemp said. “The HOPE scholarship in particular also means higher education in Georgia is a good deal that carries far less risk of long-term debt for those who qualify compared to students from most other states.”

Before the event, Gretchen Corbin, Georgia Lottery CEO and president, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the lottery has supported generations of Georgians.

“I see 29 years of students who have been impacted positively through the HOPE and pre-K program,” she said. “We are so proud and so happy, and we look forward to working every day for these education programs.”

The announcement comes as the Mega Millions jackpot reaches an estimated $1.1 billion for Friday’s drawing. Kemp quipped that “with inflation like it is, I know a billion jackpot sounds pretty good to a lot of people out there.”

University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue, Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Greg Dozier and other leaders also attended the event.