JUST ASK SHANE: Where Does Washington's Lottery Money Go? - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

JUST ASK SHANE: Where Does Washington's Lottery Money Go?

Posted: Updated:
 KENNEWICK, WA - I got an email from a viewer recently who had a question about Washington's lottery and the money that it generates.  Nancy sent me an email asking, "When they started the lottery back in the 80's, they told us the money would go toward education and other programs.  Can you tell us where the money goes now?"

I talked with a lottery spokesperson, and they told me that when the lottery was created back in 1982, the money was originally funneled into the state's general fund, which supports schools, human services programs, and lots of other state programs.  In 2010, state lawmakers voted to direct lottery dollars into a new Opportunity Pathways account, which provides grant money for college students, and also provides funding for early learning programs.

"In the past, we said 'we built schools', but our money went into this funnel and it just got chewed up and our money came out of it at some point. By putting it into the Opportunity Pathways account, we can work with the Student Achievement Council and I can tell you that this last year they've been able to say roughly 16,000 grants were given to students because of the Opportunity Pathways account," said Randy Warick, a spokesperson for Washington's Lottery.

Last year alone, the lottery generated $122 million for education funding.  Lottery proceeds also help to reduce the construction debt for building Safeco Field and Centurylink Field, and they support problem gambling prevention and treatment programs.

If you'd like to see a complete breakdown of where Washington's Lottery money goes, click here.

Remember, if you've got a question about something going on in our community... send it my way.  You can reach me in the newsroom at (509) 737-6738, or send me an email at JustAskShane@nbcrightnow.com