MIDDLETOWN, Pa., March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In March 1972, Don McLean's "American Pie" was a radio hit, a gallon of gas cost just 36 cents and the first Pennsylvania Lottery tickets were sold. Forty years later, the Lottery and the Department of Aging joined to celebrate the anniversary and the life-changing benefits that Lottery proceeds continue to provide to older Pennsylvanians, every day.
"Over the past 40 years, Lottery has generated more than $21.5 billion in funding for programs benefiting older Pennsylvanians, and the Pennsylvania Lottery is proud to stand alone as the only Lottery in the nation that designates all proceeds to programs that help our seniors," said Lottery Executive Director Todd Rucci. "We are thrilled to mark this occasion at the Rutherford House in Harrisburg, a senior center where we can see Lottery proceeds in action."
"While most Pennsylvanians know Lottery's jingle, many don't realize that older Pennsylvanians benefit every day from funds Lottery generates," said Secretary of Aging Brian Duke. "From prescriptions to free rides and from hot meals to property tax rebates, hundreds of thousands of older Pennsylvanians rely on Lottery-funded programs every day to preserve their health, protect their independence and improve their quality of life."
The Lottery was created in the early 1970s to fund property tax relief for seniors, and over the course of the last four decades, Lottery has generated more than $58.7 billion in sales and more than $21.5 billion in proceeds for programs that have grown to include property tax and rent rebates; free transit and reduced-fare shared rides; the low-cost prescription drug programs PACE and PACENET; long-term living services; and the 52 Area Agencies on Aging, including hundreds of full- and part-time senior centers throughout the state.
"At 40 years in, we're just getting started," said Rucci. "The Lottery has big plans for responsibly growing funding for senior programs, by increasing awareness of Lottery benefits and pursuing creative new ideas in retail growth and marketing. We're looking to maximize the Lottery's potential to raise revenue in the best interest of seniors, taxpayers and Lottery players."
"To illustrate the expansive support the Pennsylvania Lottery has provided over the years to older Pennsylvanians, consider that Lottery funding has helped provide 230 million prescriptions to 1.3 million older Pennsylvanians since the PACE program began in 1984, and nearly 16 million property tax and rent rebates totaling $4.8 billion have been issued to low-income elderly residents since 1971," said Duke. "We are very fortunate to have Lottery funding that helps ensure programs and services continue for those most in need."
To learn more about the Lottery-funded programs that benefit older Pennsylvanians, visit the Department of Aging online at www.aging.state.pa.us.
About the Pennsylvania Lottery: The Pennsylvania Lottery reminds its players to play responsibly. Players must be 18 or older.
Allison Roberts (Lottery), 717-702-8008
Christina Reese (Aging), 717-783-1549
SOURCE Pennsylvania Lottery