In Michigan, as with other states across the country, the lottery is big business. So, why is there still a barrage of school closings and major cutbacks, including layoffs?Ask most Detroiters, and they don't believe that the lottery's winnings ever trickle down to their communities.
Detroit resident David Clark, 69, recently saw a report on TV about Michigan's School Aid Fund. He doesn't understand how it actually benefits the children going to public schools, especially in Detroit.
"All of the money for the lottery is supposed to be going to the schools, but that's all over Michigan," Clark said. "But it still looks like $640 million is a lot and they're always begging for money for school. Maybe it's not that much money, but it's a lot to me. Six-hundred and forty million should help a lot of schools."
According to the lottery commission, $724.5 million was contributed by the lottery to Michigan's educational system in 2009. They also claim that since 1972 they have provided more than $15 billion for public education, which, according to M. Scott Bowen, lottery commissioner, is the lottery's primary mission. Total lottery sales in 2009 amounted to $2.38 billion.
Additionally, the more than 10,000 retailers across the state saw a 1-percent increase in commissions.
"The lottery's unclaimed prize money goes directly into the School Aid Fund, which is the beneficiary of all of the Michigan Lottery's profits," said Andrea Brancato, director of public relations for the Michigan Lottery. "The lottery profit does not go …