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. First, I thank our Board of Commissioners who serve to ensure that SCEL raises funds for education programs to help all South Carolinians in the most socially responsible manner. On their behalf, I assure you that the SCEL staff, led by our Executive Director, Hogan Brown, is fully committed to increasing education funding while adhering to the highest standards of integrity in the lottery industry. I hope you enjoy learning more about SCEL and our products as you explore this site. In fact, since our first ticket sale in January of 2002, SCEL has transferred more than $6.6 billion for appropriation by the General Assembly.
We are mindful of our obligation to raise funds in a socially responsible manner and we support responsible play initiatives in our advertising messages. Our advertising expenses at the close of the FY21 (ending June 30, 2021) were approximately 0.38% of gross sales, down from 0.43% in FY20. 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 (FY21) set new records with the following accomplishments compared to FY20:
- $607.6 million transferred for education, up from $492.8;
- $2.42 billion in ticket sales, up from $2.11;
- $1.59 billion in prize winnings to players, up from $1.42; and
- $169.1 million in commissions earned by retailers, up from $148.2.
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 2.2 million scholarships have been awarded to hardworking South Carolina students since 2002. In FY21, more than $469 million was appropriated for higher education for opportunities such as scholarships, need-based grants, tuition assistance, and the National Guard Loan Repayment Program. Educational programs for K-12 students also received more than $39 million in lottery proceeds. These include the Technology Initiative, K-5 programs and the Educational Accountability Act. The education appropriations by the General Assembly will pay dividends for this and future generations.
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