There's another jackpot in excess of $200 million in tonight's (May 8) Powerball drawing. But when it comes to paying players back, South Dakota is dead last among the 44 states where the lottery is legal.

According to the latest numbers from the United States Census, only 20.32 percent of the money brought in by the state actually gets paid back to winners.

That figure is more than 40 percent less than the national median (64.02%) and about 60 percent less than the state with the highest payouts, Idaho (80.02%).

The Mount Rushmore State's low payouts aren't a reflection of the costs of the lottery. South Dakota has the fourth lowest overhead of any state in the country.

What it does mean is that more of the money the state brings in is going to pay for other things.

And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

According to the South Dakota Lottery's own numbers, in the 2016 fiscal year, $50 million was allocated to the state's primary and secondary schools and technical schools, as well as highway construction and repair, a Water and Environment Fund, and an Ethanol Fuel Fund.

So while fewer individuals may be winning in South Dakota, more and more people may be benefitting from the revenue the lottery generates.


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