New Mexico Lottery earns $37.8M for scholarships in 2017

New Mexico Lottery earns $37.8M for scholarships in 2017 (Credit: MGN)

New Mexico Lottery officials say less money will be transferred to the state's lottery scholarship program this year and they're blaming legislative changes aimed at shoring up the struggling program.

The lottery announced Wednesday that $37.8 million in proceeds earned during the 2017 fiscal year will be going to the scholarship fund. That presents an $8.5 million decline from the previous year.

Lottery CEO David Barden says opportunities for generating more revenue have been hampered by an increase in contract fees as well as a requirement to funnel 30 percent of proceeds to the scholarship fund.

The scholarships help pay tuition for about 26,000 students at public universities and colleges around the state. The amount of financial aid available through the program has been declining since lottery revenues have not kept pace with increases in tuition and student enrollment.

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