January jackpot boosted funds for lottery scholarships

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – A boost in the money funneled to New Mexico’s lottery scholarship fund is due to frenzied sales in January brought on by the record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot.

The New Mexico Lottery Authority says it transferred $8.5 million to the scholarship fund in January. That’s more than twice the $3.8 million that was funneled to the fund in January 2015.

State legislative analysts say proceeds so far this year total nearly $28 million compared to more than $23 million for the same period last year.

Still, higher education officials expect demand for the financial assistance to continue outpacing lottery proceeds.

Lawmakers are expected to weigh options over the next several months before proposing another round of measures aimed at addressing the scholarship program’s solvency during the next session.

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