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Think Powerball money goes to a good cause? Think again

Published: Thursday, Nov. 29 2012 11:00 a.m. MST

Many believe the money from Powerball sales goes to help education, but about 72 cents of every dollar goes doesn’t make it to a school’s budget.

Winston Armani, Deseret News

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If you're justifying your Powerball ticket purchases by assuming the profits go to a good cause, think again.

Many believe the money from Powerball sales goes to help education, but about 72 cents of every dollar goes doesn’t make it to a school’s budget, according to NBC News.

Powerball winners receive about 60 cents of every lottery dollar, and a portion of the money goes to an Italian-based company that operates lotteries in 50 countries.

States can receive as little as 11 cents to pay for government services, according to the NBC article.

Some experts criticize lotteries, claiming they are not an effective way to raise funds.

“It’s a very regressive tax," Lucy Dadayan, a senior policy analyst at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, told NBC. “And any time a government relies on a regressive tax it's not the best policy option. But it’s easier for state officials to promote gambling rather than to increase income taxes or sales taxes.”

Others say governments can’t go without lotteries, and that programs and services, like education and social services, would struggle.

“If lotteries were not in existence those programs and services would be cut or they would have to be funded through another source,” David Gale, executive director of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, told NBC News.

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com

TWITTER: @joeyferguson

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