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$869,691,109 returned to Idaho since 1989! VIP Club

About Us


  • To ensure the integrity and security of its games, the Idaho Lottery withdraws a Scratch Game™ as soon as the game's top prizes have claimed out.

  • The Idaho Lottery began on July 19, 1989.

  • The Idaho Lottery paid out over $2.2 billion in prizes to players since operations began on July 19, 1989.

  • Total Lottery revenues from fiscal years 1990 – 2018 are more than $3.7 billion.

  • The annual Idaho Lottery dividend benefits Idaho Public Schools and the Permanent Building Fund.

  • For every dollar the Lottery receives from ticket sales, approximately $0.25 goes towards the annual dividend.

  • Total dividends given to all Idaho Public Schools and the Permanent Building Fund from 1990 – 2018 is $846 million.

  • 50% of dividend funds are given to the Public Schools. The other 50% is given to Permanent Building Fund, which is used as an additional finance resource for Idaho's colleges and universities.

  • Retailers who sell a winning Lottery ticket receive commission based on the prize size and type of game. All retailers receive a 5% commission for each ticket sold.

  • Powerball PowerPlay is a multi-state game. It is played by 47 Lotteries.

  • Idaho's largest winner was Brad Duke of Star. In 2005, he won a Powerball PowerPlay jackpot of $220 million.

  • The Idaho Lottery began the first lottery VIP Club in the nation in 1999. It is the first to offer its members rewards and incentives for purchases.

  • There are approximately 1,200 Lottery retailers located throughout Idaho.

  • Idaho Lottery players have 180 days from the draw date for Draw games to claim their prize and 180 days from the official end of a Scratch game™ to claim their prize. If the prize is not claimed within 180 days, it is transferred to the dividend fund.

Fact or Fiction

Lottery tickets are bought by primarily low-income people.

FICTION: Idaho Lottery players tend to be older, more educated and have a higher income than the U.S. Census data for all Idahoans. Approximately 47% of Idahoans have played the Lottery within the past 12 months. In Idaho 62% of all players have an income of $30,000 or better, 47% of our players have an income of $40,000 or more. Only 17% of Idaho players have an income of $20,000 or less. (Source: ID Player Segmentation Study, IPSOS/REID, June 2001 and 1989 US Census) A 1999 Gallup Poll on Gambling in America shows that 57% of American adults had bought a lottery ticket in the previous 12 months. Those with $45,000 - $75,000 incomes were most likely to play; 65% of them had played in the past year. Those with incomes less than $25,000 were least likely to play. Those with incomes higher than $75,000 spent approximately 3 times as much on lotteries each month as those with incomes under $25,000.

The lottery is a form of taxation.

FICTION: A tax is a compulsory payment to the government. Citizens have no option when contributing to state revenue with mandated levies and other tariffs. Playing the lottery is entirely voluntary. It is up to each individual whether or not they want to participate. 57% of Idaho's population approve of the Lottery. 84% of Idaho players feel the lottery is an appropriate way to raise revenue for Idaho. (Source: ID Player Segmentation Study, IPSOS/REID, June 2001)

Games that provide instant gratification, sensory stimulation and skill are not part of the lottery play.

FACT: The Idaho Lottery is a traditional lottery and does not plan to expand to games that experts say attract the highest percentage of compulsive gamblers. The experts contend that compulsive gamblers tend to choose:

  • High excitement games filled with sensory stimulation
  • Games that require skill or are perceived as requiring skill

Only lottery winners actually benefit from the lottery.

FICTION: The Lottery helps stimulate the economy and benefits individuals in a number of ways: Lottery retailers earn a commission on the sale of lottery products, and a bonus of 10% on winning tickets. (Up to a cap of $50,000 for Powerball and $25,000 for all other online games.) Vendors and suppliers who provide the hardware, software, tickets, advertising services and many other goods and services it takes to run a lottery are paid for their services. When people win the lottery, the winnings are spent on additional goods and services that benefit the economy. Additionally the taxes paid on the winnings benefit the state tax fund.

The amount of funds the state allocates to education decreases once a lottery is created.

FICTION: The Idaho Lottery proceeds allocated to public schools are required to be spent on capital projects (buildings, buses, etc). They are in addition to and never have replaced other state funding provided to the public schools.

Idaho Lottery tickets can be purchased over the Internet or through the mail.

FICTION: Currently in Idaho purchasing tickets through the Internet is not legal.

The lottery is addictive.

FICTION: A 1998 National Survey on Gambling Behavior conducted for the National Gambling Impact Study Commission found there is no correlation between problem gambling rates and the presence or absence of a lottery. "It does not appear that the availability of a lottery has an impact on (problem gambling) prevalence rates."