Where the Funds Go | South Dakota Lottery
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Good Fun Happens every day

On average, the Lottery gives $354K per day back to South Dakota. That's 35 million pennies per day to improve schools, roads, natural resources and more. In fact, last year more than $161 million went directly back to the state. That's a lotta change for South Dakota every single day.



Almost 95 cents of every dollar the Lottery earns, goes directly back to South Dakota. Of the $161 million raised last year, more than 45% went to education plus millions more for roads, natural resources and other good things. Good fun happens every day when you play the South Dakota Lottery. Good fun for South Dakota's schools. Good fun for South Dakota's roads. Good fun for South Dakota's water. You get the idea. The Lottery is good fun for all of South Dakota.



It's the question we get most often...where does the money go? The simple answer is to South Dakota and South Dakotans. The more detailed answers about how it comes in, where it goes and what it benefits are below.

The South Dakota Lottery is run like any other business. We take revenue in, we account for expenses, and whatever is left over is our net income. Unlike other businesses, however, our net income goes back to South Dakota to pay for things important to South Dakotans.


Funding Education

The Lottery has provided $1.16 billion to the state General Fund. Each year, nearly half of the entire General Fund is used to support local K-12 schools, state universities, and technical institutes.


Developing Natural Resources

The Lottery has provided $115.97 million to the Capital Construction Fund. Local communities use these funds to pay for rural water systems, community drinking water and wastewater improvement projects, plus recycling and waste disposal programs.


Promoting Responsible Gaming

The Lottery has also provided $4.67 million to the S.D. Department of Social Services for problem gambling treatment services.



Through FY2021, the South Dakota Lottery has provided over $3.24 billion to support education, develop natural resources, lower property taxes, and provide problem gambling treatment services.


General Fund

The General Fund is state government's general spending account and supports public and higher education, programs like Medicaid and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, human services facilities, and the corrections and court systems.

The state Bureau of Finance & Management provides a summary of General Fund receipts and expenditures for the current state fiscal year in its Budget in Brief document.


Capital Construction Fund

The Capital Construction Fund is a temporary stop for monies destined for other state funds:

61% is sent to the Water & Environment Fund

This fund is used for rural water system development; to provide loans and grants to local communities for drinking water and wastewater improvement projects; recycling, solid waste disposal and waste tire projects; and regional landfills.  More information on natural resource development projects is available from the Dept. of Agriculture & Natural Resources.

5% is sent to the Ethanol Fuel Fund

This fund provides $4 million in annual production payments to qualified South Dakota ethanol producers.

34% is sent to the State Highway Fund

This fund is currently used for construction and maintenance of state highways and bridges and for public transportation. More information about the state highway system and public transportation is available from the Dept. of Transportation.

A portion of the Capital Construction Fund was previously sent to the Public and Special Transportation Assistance Fund.



Lottery revenues come from the sale of scratch tickets, lotto tickets and video lottery play. For detailed information and precise revenue numbers for each game, please see our Annual Report.


Scratch Tickets

All revenue from the sale of scratch tickets is transferred to the state General Fund. Scratch ticket sales have raised $139.32 million for the General Fund.


Lotto Tickets

Currently, the General Fund receives 35% in net revenue from lotto tickets. The Capital Construction Fund receives the other 65%.

Lotto ticket sales have generated $60 million for the General Fund and $115.80 million for the Capital Construction Fund.

The current distribution of revenues took effect in state Fiscal Year 2018. Beginning in 1997, the first $1.4 million of revenue from the sale of lotto tickets was distributed to the state’s General Fund. The remaining balance was distributed to the Capital Construction Fund. 

Prior to that, lotto ticket revenues were transferred to the General Fund, where they were dedicated for corrections facility construction.


Video Lottery

Revenue generated by video lottery play is called Net Machine Income (NMI). NMI is calculated as cash put into the machines minus prizes cashed out (cash in - prizes out = NMI). The state currently receives 50% of NMI. The private machine owners (licensed operators) receive the other 50%.

As of July 1, 2015, the state's share of NMI is transferred to the state General Fund (49.5% of NMI). A small amount is kept by the Lottery for operation costs (0.5% of NMI). As of FY21, the state's share of net machine income has generated $700.18 million for the General Fund.

From FY1997 to FY2015, the state's share of NMI went to the Property Tax Reduction Fund. Revenue from video lottery play raised more than $1.92 billion for the Property Tax Reduction Fund through FY2015. Before FY1997, the state's share of NMI was transferred to the General Fund.