Governor appoints new lottery leadership after review finds room for improvement

By Meghan Boggess

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Jay Nixon has overhauled leadership of the Missouri Lottery Commission after reports of declining lottery profits for education while paying higher administrative costs.

In response to a lottery review he had ordered, Nixon announced the replacement of four members of the State Lottery Commission Thursday, replacing all but one commission member.

The governor ordered the review in July, noting the percentage of lottery revenues contributed to public education had decreased even as ticket sales grew.

In 2014, just 23 percent of lottery revenues went to education, the lowest percentage in a decade, according to a statement released by the governor’s office.

Larger prize payouts and greater ad spending contributed to the disparity, according to the review.

“Two decades ago, Missouri voters spoke loud and clear that the proceeds from the Missouri Lottery should benefit our public schools and it’s clear that the lottery has some work to do if it’s going to keep delivering on that promise,” Nixon was quoted as saying in the statement regarding the new commission appointments.

The four new members include a retired school district superintendent, the director of the Charter School Center at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, a retiring Missouri State University official and a Drury University board member.

The Office of Administration’s review found several areas for improvement and recommended that the commission realign its goals to increase school funding, reduce costs and review its contracting methods.