It’s not that much of a stretch to envision the Georgia Lottery as an important workforce development tool in Georgia.

Gretchen Corbin, president of the Georgia Lottery Corporation, told Rome Floyd Chamber members that the billions of dollars that flow into education from lottery sales provides a competitive economic development advantage to Georgia.

Corbin said the lottery, from its funding of pre-K programs to get kids started on the right foot, to the HOPE scholarships and grants that assists Georgians with post-secondary education, really does provide a direct pipeline to workforce development.

“We are talking about our products, we are talking about our sites, our buildings but we know that the most important piece for a Georgia company is its talent,” Corbin said Friday morning.

“The Georgia lottery’s mission is very simple, to maximize revenue for education,” Corbin said. “Every day we start and end with the student in mind.”

The Georgia Lottery is coming off its ninth consecutive record year and fifth straight year of returning more than $1 billion to education.

Over the past 27 years, the lottery has returned more than $787 million to lottery players, scholarships, grants and retailer commissions back into the economy of Floyd County.

In Fiscal Year 20 alone, more than $41 million was pumped back into the local economy.

Over the 27-year lifetime of the lottery, more than 24,000 Floyd County residents have received more than $106 million in HOPE scholarships and grants. Another 19,000 children have been able to attend pre-K programs thanks to over $73 million lottery proceeds.

Lottery players in Floyd County retail locations have won more than $540 million and retailers have shared over $61 million in sales commissions.

The four local colleges, Berry, Shorter, GNTC and GHC have shared over $306 million in lottery proceeds, assisted more than 94,000 students.

Asked about the impact of neighboring Alabama possibly approving a lottery, Corbin explained that any dollar that is spent on the Georgia lottery is a discretionary dollar, a dollar for some form of entertainment.

“We can’t control what other states do, all we can control is doing the best for the Georgia Lottery and making sure we have the best product out there to compete,” Corbin said.

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