Where the money goes and a buyer warning   – NBC Los Angeles

on Aug2
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With dreams of winning $1 billion, it’s easy to get carried away when you’re at the register purchasing Mega Millions lottery tickets.  

There are two sides to the coin.   

We’re learning how much that’s generating for local schools, but also how many people may be spending beyond their means.     

About 80 cents of every two-dollar Mega Millions ticket sold goes to public schools in California– that’s kindergarten through college. Since there has been no Mega Millions winner since April, the sales have built up quite a coffer.    

Sales of Mega Millions since April and through the close of Friday night’s draw have totaled $175.1 million with an estimated $70 million earmarked to education, according to a spokesperson from the California Lottery.  And, that’s not counting other lottery sales.   

That money helps schools big and small, including the Girls Athletic Leadership School Los Angeles or “GALS LA” in Panorama City serving more than 150 girls in middle school.     

“We received about $40,000 and all of it has been used for instructional materials,” Vanessa Garza, GALS principal, previously told the I-Team.     

And while we know that excitement builds when jackpots get this high, the California Lottery says they do not want anyone to get into gambling trouble.  They warn players to only play within their budget and not to dip into savings.  

Source: CA Lottery

The California Lottery said it works with the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Problem Gambling and has a free public hotline for anyone who may have a gambling issue or knows someone who does.   

That number is: 1-800-GAMBLER    

Some years back the lottery added more numbers that you can choose from including the Mega ball, which means the chance to hit the jackpot has become even more difficult.    

If you or someone you know has a gambling addiction, please call the National Council on Problem Gambling at 1-800-522-4700 to speak to a counselor. Help is also available via an online peer support forum at www.gamtalk.org, and additional resources can be found at NCPG website.

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