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California Lottery Takes In A Record $4.4 Billion

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(credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — In spite of the bad economy – or maybe because of it – California Lottery sales are at record levels.

A record $4.4 billion dollars in lotto sales was clocked this fiscal year, with $1.3 billion of it going to education – 75% to K-12 schools, and the rest to colleges. The agency believes that Californians might spend even more next year if a change to the money distribution formula goes through.

“I’m not surprised, especially with the way that the economy is,” a man named Jose told KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou. “People are looking for instant riches.”

Legislation in 2010 altered the lottery’s spending formula to allow more revenue to be used for prizes, allowing players more chances to win smaller amounts, according to the Sacramento Bee.

State officials are now hoping to alter the finances of the program by holding less than 13 percent for operating costs and giving 87 percent over to prizes and school contributions.

Lottery sales spiked across the country after a Mega Millions jackpot hit a record-breaking $656 million in March. That jackpot helped make California the second-highest-grossing lottery in the country in the first quarter of 2012, the Bee reported.

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