COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD)- The South Carolina Education Lottery has reported its second-largest contribution to education since its inception twenty years ago.

In Fiscal Year 2022, South Carolina raked in $564 million in lottery funds to benefit students across the state.

“It’s been an incredible 20 years and amazing to think that in just the last two years we’ve raised more than a billion dollars for education,” the Lottery’s Executive Director Hogan Brown said. “These funds have had an immeasurable impact in our state, now reaching two generations of parents and their children.”

As per state law, proceeds of the lottery must be used “to support improvements and enhancements for education purposes and programs as provided by the General Assembly.”

Since its inception in 2002, the lottery has brought in roughly $7.2 billion dollars. Of that, more than $5.9 billion has been appropriated for higher education scholarships and grants, and about $1.1 billion has supported K-12 education programs.

“On behalf of the Board, what the Lottery was able to achieve again this year is excellent,” Chairman of the SC Lottery Commission, Sam Litchfield said. “In uncertain times, we have made another significant investment in education. And in that, we all win.”

Lottery players also cashed in big this year, winning more than $1.4 billion in prize money.