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An $8.3 billion win for South Carolina students

The South Carolina Education Lottery has raised billions of dollars for local educational programs and purposes for more than 22 years.

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A student and teacher sitting at a desk behind a book and in front of a tiger mural.

The SC Lottery has funded 2.5 million scholarships and grants since it began in 2002.

Photo courtesy of the South Carolina Education Lottery

When you play the South Carolina Education Lottery, your chances of winning vary per game. But Palmetto State students? They win every time.

Since its inception in 2002, the Lottery has provided more than $8.3 billion to support education in South Carolina. So, whenever you play, you know you’re supporting a great cause — our local students.

💸 The money

Wondering how that $8.3 billion was distributed? Let’s talk numbers. Lottery proceeds must be used to support improvements and enhancements for educational purposes and programs.

More than $7.1 billion has been put toward higher education programs, specifically:

  • $6 billion for scholarships and grants
  • $180 million for SmartState programs, which established Research Centers for Economic Excellence at Clemson, MUSC, and USC
  • $203 million for technology upgrades
  • $754 million for other higher education programs, like enhancing opportunities for low-income and educationally disadvantaged students

More than $1.1 billion has gone to supporting K-12 programs, including:

  • $517 million for primary education (grades K-5) enhancement programs in reading, math, science, and social studies
  • $201 million for school buses (think: 2,600+ vehicles)
  • $104 million for Education Accountability Act programs
  • $294 million for other K-12 educational programs, like providing equipment and resources to schools

The remaining funds — aka, more than $54 million — have been used to enhance community education throughout the state. Proceeds benefited every county library system in South Carolina, local gambling addiction services, Education Television Network technology upgrades, and more.

A person standing on a basketball court holding a basketball and smiling at the camera.

The Lottery-funded Palmetto Fellows Scholarship made it possible for Ashley to attend Winthrop University.

Photo courtesy of the South Carolina Education Lottery

🎓 Scholarships + grants

Money raised through the Lottery helps fund a wide variety of scholarships and grants for local students in higher education, including:

  • LIFE Scholarship
  • SC HOPE Scholarship
  • Palmetto Fellows Scholarship
  • And more

Students interested in applying for lottery-funded scholarships and grants should reach out to the financial aid office at their current school (or school they’re applying to) for help. Pro tip: Check out these eligibility requirements.

Play for fun + win for education

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