The Tennessee Education Lottery Corp. announced Thursday that it has surpassed $2 billion in funds raised since 2002 to support education-related programs in the state, including the HOPE Scholarship awards.
“This is a remarkable milestone,” Rebecca Hargrove, TEL president and CEO, said in a release. “Two billion dollars is an extraordinary sum, but what’s most meaningful is that this money has helped and continues to help many thousands of young people pursue their dreams of higher education. All Tennesseans can take pride in the success of this effort.”
During a small celebratory event held Thursday at the lottery headquarters in Nashville, Hargrove also announced two related initiatives to mark the $2 billion accomplishment. In addition to launching a billboard campaign expressing thanks for reaching the milestone in support of education, TEL is inviting those who have benefited from lottery-funded programs to “Share Your Story of HOPE” by submitting a short entry describing how these awards have impacted their lives. Those who participate in this program have a chance to be featured in a future television commercial about lottery beneficiaries. For details, visit www.seehowitaddsup.com.
“These stories of how so many have been helped are exactly what Tennessee voters had in mind when they voiced their support of creating a lottery in the fall of 2002,” said Jim Hill, chairman of the Lottery’s board of directors. “Not only will this program raise awareness about the important programs available, but it will also serve to inspire students to work hard to obtain and maintain these valuable scholarships.”
According to the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, the organization that oversees the Lottery-funded scholarship programs, more than 100,000 students have received awards to higher-education institutions in the state this year.
In addition to the funds generated for education programs, Lottery proceeds are used to pay prizes to players and sales commissions to retailers who sell Lottery products. Since inception, players have won more than $4.54 billion and retailers have earned more than $496.4 million.
TEL operates entirely from the revenue it generates through the sale of its products. Net proceeds from sales of Lottery tickets, currently averaging over $5 million per week, fund specific education programs, including college scholarships and after-school programs.