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Mega Millions helps Jacksonville schools

11:42 PM, Dec 17, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida lottery continues to contribute billions of dollars to public education. Mega Millions in particular has put an estimated $33.6 million into schools statewide since it began in Florida seven months ago. But it's not adding up to much money per student.

At the Gate gas station on Belfort Road, cashiers say they've been busy all day Tuesday. As the jackpot rises apparently so does the odds of folks willing to dish out some cold hard cash for a chance at winning it big. Terrie Brady, President of Duval Teachers United, encourages people to try their luck. According to the Florida lottery since it began back in 1988 through the 2012 fiscal year, a total of $26 billion has been pumped into public education statewide.

"We're glad it's there," said Brady. "It would be a disaster for public schools if the lottery money was not there to be supplanted."

Brady says the lottery money basically supplanted holes in the budget due to shortfalls in revenue, and it hasn't been an enhancement but it's certainly helping.

In the Jacksonville area including Duval, St Johns, Nassau, Baker, Clay and Flagler Counties, Meagan Dougherty with the Florida lottery says a total of 1.8 billion dollars has been contributed to schools. They provided this breakdown.

Florida Lottery Funding From 1988 to 2012 fiscal Year

Public School Funding: $801 million

School Construction: $393 million

State Universities and Colleges: $354 million

Bright Future Scholarships: $308 million

"Per student it's only a few pennies because we have so many students in the public schools," said Brady. "But I just don't know what we would have done if we had not had the lottery to fall back on."

First Coast News

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