DeSantis continues scratching winning education ticket

DeSantis continues scratching winning education ticket

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
January 1, 2019

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis campaigned on redirecting 80 percent of the total allocated education dollars “into the classroom.” His decision to reappoint Florida Lottery Secretary Jim Poppell seems to make his goal to operate the lottery system both “transparently and efficiently” an achievable objective.

DeSantis has also handpicked Florida’s new education commissioner, Richard Corcoran, to implement his vision for education. Corcoran that may aid DeSantis ‘redirecting’ funds throughout the system.

Since the Florida Lottery’s inception in 1988, its sole purpose of was to help fund education in the sunshine state. The program has been hugely popular and successful, having infused more than $32.1 billion into the system.

In 2018 alone, the Florida Lottery pumped in $1.7 billion into the state’s Education Enhancement Trust Fund, and of that total, $900 million came from instant game sales, or scratch off games.

The instant game industry is popular nationwide with revenues hitting $50 billion in 2018. Florida has seen its scratch off business grow from $533 million in 1988 to $4.65 billion in 2018.

That is growth.

These scratch off games don’t just create themselves.

Since 1974 when it developed the first secure instant scratch game, Scientific Games—the world’s largest provider of instant games and the only major U.S.-based lottery supplier— has been running a fully vertical instant game shop.

From printing 98% of instant tickets, furnishing retail displays, to handling inside sales and advanced logistics for the Florida Lottery’s 13,000 retailers statewide, Scientific Games partners closely with the Lottery to manage instant games from the company’s Orlando facility which ensures a just-in-time inventory critical to operational success.

In speaking with the firm’s VP of Strategic Business Development, Sam Wakasugi, the growth of scratch off games sales in Florida is “an industry success story.”

Sam Wakasugi, Scientific Games

When it comes to politics, Wakasugi says that his company focuses on “supporting our customer."

Because the Florida Lottery’s instant games are “growing at a faster rate than the industry,” and with sales being up, there are always challenges to create new games that are fun and entertaining for Florida players. 

Wakusugi adds that one of the reason why the Florida Lottery has been so successful is because they have “taken full advantage of the technology and innovations” that Scientific Games has offered.

 He also credits the Lottery’s product support with players, excellent Lottery field rep retailer support, and most importantly the high level of security and integrity in operating a world-class lottery.

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Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at

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