GEORGIA — Georgia is set to receive a $13 million payout from the state’s lottery this year for nearly all the former employees of its lottery commission.
The money, which is contingent on the winner of the state lottery contest being approved for reemployment by the General Assembly in 2019, is part of a $7.7 million settlement announced Friday by the Georgia Lottery and the State Lottery Commission.
The state lottery is the state government’s largest and largest employer.
The payout, which will be distributed by the lottery commission in February 2019, comes a week after Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law the state budget and budget package that created the lottery and related businesses.
The payout comes a month after a federal judge in Georgia awarded $10.5 million to a former employee of the Georgia lottery commission, who alleged that she was not entitled to the payout because she had not worked for more than a year.
State lottery officials announced the payout Friday after a lengthy hearing in which the state board of commissioners and the state attorney general argued against it.
“The lottery has been a great place for employees and our citizens, and this settlement is a good step toward ensuring that every employee who has worked on the commission is compensated appropriately,” Georgia Secretary of State Kim Wyant said in a statement.
“This is an important step toward restoring trust between the commission and the people of Georgia.”
The lottery commission will have $3 million in funds available for salaries and benefits to cover its operating costs, including overtime.
Georgia Lottery Commissioner Ken Johnson said in his opening statement Friday that the payout will help ensure that the lottery will be solvent and can continue to attract new customers.
Commissioner David Ganser said the payout is in line with other large lottery payments, such as $1.8 billion from California in 2012.
In addition to the payment from the lottery, the commission also will receive $1 million from the Georgia Economic Development Corporation and $500,000 from the Department of Health.
Johnson said he hopes the payout and other funding will help Georgia continue to grow the lottery as a job creator.
While the payout was announced Friday, Johnson said he hoped it would be extended beyond the 2019 deadline.