Today in Georgia History, the Georgia Lottery sold its first ticket to support education in the state. But, it wasn’t first time that a lottery had been in place. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Georgia divided Indian lands and dispersed them using a lottery. In 1992, Georgians voted and approved the state-wide revenue source for improving education.
From the onset, most of the funds raised supported the HOPE Scholarship (as in Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) to support post-secondary education for “B” average or higher students. The recent changes make the scholarship more competitive, requiring a solid 3.0 GPA.
The funds raised also contributed to making Georgia the first state in the nation to offer a pre-Kindergarten program to her citizens. As a result, several other states began growing and developing pre-K programs, making Georgia an educational leader on the national scene.
By all accounts, the Georgia Lottery was a hit--52 million tickets sold the first week, with $463 million in sales in the first year. All told, more than $12 billion have gone to Georgia students since Governor Miller bought the first lottery ticket.
Learn more about the lottery and its contributions to Georgia’s education at Today in Georgia History.