Habersham Co. - “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.” This is what Superintendent Matthew Cooper says after seeing how much money from the Georgia Lottery has aided in educational efforts across the state.
During the Habersham County Board of Education meeting on Monday, Oct. 21, Cooper deferred some of his time to discuss the lottery.
“The fact of the matter is Georgia has one of the most successful lotteries in the nation and we (Habersham County) recently received a visit from the director of the state Lottery, and they presented us with this certificate for 25 years of excellence for Habersham County and the Georgia Lottery,” Cooper says.
Two major ways the Georgia Lottery aids in education is by funding HOPE scholarships along with pre-K.
“More than 1.8 million students have been able to attend colleges through Georgia's HOPE scholarship program; more than 1.6 million four-year-olds have attended Georgia's Prekindergarten Program; and all of Georgia's public schools have benefited from over $1.8 billion in capital outlay, computer and technology upgrades,” says the Georgia Lottery website.
According to Cooper, there were 48 lottery retailers in Habersham County alone in 2018. Those retailers were able to sponsor 861 HOPE scholarships for the year 2018.
“Our county is not only sponsoring all of the HOPE Scholarship recipients from Habersham County but hundreds more each year from other counties,” Cooper notes. “More than $2.3 million in one year went to HOPE from Habersham County alone.”
When it comes to pre-K, “in one year in 2018, Habersham County-sponsored 365 pre-K students,” Cooper says.
Cooper went on to note how much this can be of impact over a 25-year span. Over a 25-year period, from 1994 up to 2019, the Georgia Lottery has paid $165,543,416 in prizes to players in Habersham County alone, $17,262,295 in retailer commissioner to the county’s retailers, $45,838,072 paid out to the HOPE scholarship program, and $21,735,185 in sponsoring pre-K students.
According to their website, “currently, the Georgia Lottery offers approximately 90 instant games and 11 draw, or computerized, games - CASH 3, CASH 4, Georgia FIVE, All or Nothing, Cash4Life, Fantasy 5, Jumbo Bucks Lotto, Mega Millions, Powerball, Print n Play and KENO!. Additionally, the Georgia Lottery offers online play with DIGGI games for players located in Georgia.”
Photo provided by GA Lottery