LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- The Kentucky lottery has reached a new milestone, and officials say the games have helped the state provide billions of dollars in college scholarships and grants in the past 25 years.
The first lottery tickets were sold in April 1989 to then-Gov. Wallace Wilkinson. Since then, lottery sales have totaled more than $15.2 billion, and lottery players have received nearly $9.2 billion in prizes. More than $4 billion in profit has been used for scholarships, education, literacy programs, affordable housing and Vietnam veteran bonuses.
Lottery sales were predicted to provide $65 million annually for the state, but last year, sales netted more than three times that amount -- more than $223 million.
Kentucky lottery proceeds began going to college scholarship and grant programs 15 years ago. More than $2 billion in proceeds has been used for that purpose.
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