Even the Lotto Loses in a Recession

The Lotto is losing.

A recent state audit report revealed that Florida Lottery ticket sales for most of its vast variety of get-rich-quick games have slowed to a crawl and that state legislators should consider haulting some of the program's excessive spending practices.

While no scratch off tickets or games are tabbed to go away just yet, the audit pointed to hefty commissions paid to vendors who sell the tickets as a key component to the program not hitting its financial goals. So far this fiscal year, the Lotto has paid $121 million to vendors for advertising and selling the tickets and scratch off games.

Voters approved the lottery concept in 1986 in hopes the proceeds from the popular games would benefit the education system. The results have been mixed, but the audit may be a signal the Lotto may be headed toward financial trouble.

The Legislature will likely scale back the goals of the state's key contributor to the education fund, which means old school books will stay in use in classrooms longer and teachers will still be paid peanuts.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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