OKLAHOMA CITY — A bill moving through the statehouse would allow the lottery to increase prizes in hopes of generating more dollars for schools and boost the payout to education by about $100 million over the next five years.
For years, lottery officials have asked lawmakers to let them plug more dollars into prizes in hopes it would increase participation and add more money to educational coffers.
And for years, lawmakers balked.
But this year, faced with a huge budget hole, lawmakers are moving House Bill 1837 through the process. It has made it through the House. Late Wednesday, the measure passed the Senate Appropriations Committee by a vote of 24-9 and is headed for the Senate floor.
Current law requires the lottery to give 35 percent of its profits to education. The bill would remove that profit requirement, said Jay Finks, Oklahoma Lottery director of marketing and administration.