Where the Money Goes

Every time you play a Michigan Lottery game, the money you pay to take part is divided a number of different ways to help benefit residents of the state. More than half of the proceeds are used to pay out prizes, while a major portion also goes towards supporting local education programs. Find out more below about the distribution of revenue.

The following table shows how every dollar you spend on lottery tickets in Michigan is split:

Where the Money Goes Percentage of Revenue Allocated
Prizes 60%
School Aid Fund 28%
Retailer Commissions 9%
Operating Costs 3%

The Michigan Lottery's primary mission is always to drive up revenue so that as much money as possible can be generated for state schools. To maximize revenue, the operators have to make sure there is a wide range of exciting lotteries for players to choose from, and offer large enough prizes to attract as many fans as possible.


More than $45 billion has been paid out in prize money since the Michigan Lottery began in 1972. As the number of lotteries available to Michiganders has grown over time, so too have the size of the payouts. Players have won more than $20 billion altogether in the last ten years, including the largest individual prize ever seen in Michigan - the $1 billion jackpot that went to Mega Millions winners the Wolverine FFL Club.

Each lottery in Michigan has its own prize structure. There are multi-state games that take in money from all over the U.S. and offer jackpots that can be worth nine or even ten figures, as well as daily in-state lotteries where you can choose your own stake and bet type.

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School Aid Fund

The School Aid Fund is a program that was established in 1955 to help K-12 public education in the state. The Michigan Lottery has made donations to the fund every year since 1972, amounting to more than $26 billion. This money is given to the State of Michigan, with the Legislature and Governor then responsible for how exactly it is allocated and spent.

The average donation in recent times has been more than $1 billion a year. It works out at more than $3 million each day for schools. There are more than 1.4 million children in Michigan schools, so the lottery's funding is effectively worth almost $1,000 per student.

As well as giving 28 percent of its annual revenue to the School Aid Fund, the Michigan Lottery also hands over all of the prize money that remains unclaimed one year after a draw.

Retailer Commissions

There are almost 11,000 businesses in Michigan that sell lottery tickets, providing them with a regular revenue stream throughout the year. These retailers earn commissions for selling tickets, plus special bonuses if they create a major winner. For example, the Kroger store in Novi that sold the $1 billion jackpot-winning Mega Millions entry in 2021 received a bonus of $50,000.

More than $5.4 billion has been paid to retailers since 1972, including more than $2.4 billion in the last decade.