Oregonians created the Oregon Lottery in 1984. The lottery’s mission, is to “Operate a lottery with the highest standards of security and integrity to earn maximum profits for the people of Oregon commensurate with the public good.” Oregon’s lottery is both a public trust and a market-driven business, with about 500 employees.
ORS 461.500 provides that at least 84% of total annual revenues be returned to the public, with at least 50% being returned as prizes and the remainder used for designated public purposes. The remaining 16% of annual revenues are available for the payment of administrative expenses. Lottery administrative expenses are currently at just under 4% of revenue, which makes the agency entirely self-funded.
The Oregon Lottery is the second largest revenue producer for the state, following income tax revenues. Lottery dollars help support public education, economic development, state parks and watershed enhancement, as well as veterans’ affairs and Outdoor School. The Oregon Lottery funds problem gambling treatment and awareness. Over the years, Lottery players have been paid over $46 billion in prizes.