Lottery helps local cities and towns pay their bills

BOSTON (WWLP) – A Chicopee woman is getting a big check for purchasing the winning $758 million Powerball jackpot ticket.

While you might not be getting a big check, a portion of the money you spend helps your community pay for public services.

For every dollar spent on the lottery in Massachusetts, about 19 cents goes to the state’s 351 cities and towns. While that might not seem to be a great amount, the money adds up.

Massachusetts players spent nearly $33 million on Powerball sales alone.

In fiscal year 2016, about $980 million was distributed to Massachusetts cities and towns in unrestricted local aid; money that your community can use to fill holes in a budget or pay for services such as public safety, parks and public works.

Springfield received nearly $35 million in local aid in fiscal 2016. All driven by a little game of luck.

“I was there to just buy it for luck,” Poweball Jackpot winner Mavis Wanczyk said. “Just go in and buy a scratch ticket and think ‘Okay, maybe it’s me. Maybe it won’t be me.’ It’s just a chance.”

Direct local aid from lottery sales has been on the rise since fiscal year 2013.

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