The New York Lottery announced a new campaign Monday reminding the public that Lottery provides aid for education across New York State. As part of this program, a new television commercial was created featuring students singing “Thank You For Being A Friend,” written by Andrew Gold and made popular as the theme to the television show “The Golden Girls,” to unsuspecting people who buy Lottery tickets in a convenience store.
The Lottery has also launched a statewide contest to provide students with an opportunity to win $10,000, $5,000 or $2,500 to benefit their school’s music education program. Named “New York Sings” the contest offers students the opportunity to film themselves singing their own interpretation of “Thank You For Being A Friend.”
The top five finalists of the “New York Sings” contest from all submissions received will have their videos posted on the New York Lottery’s Facebook page. The prize winners will be selected by the Lottery’s Facebook fans, thus ensuring that everyone has the chance to participate through submission or by voting for their favorites.
Since its inception in 1967, the New York Lottery has contributed more than $48 billion in aid to education in New York State. In fiscal year 2012-2013, the Lottery contributed $3.04 billion to local school districts. The Lottery’s contribution represents 15 percent of total state education aid to local school districts. The New York Lottery is North America’s largest and most profitable Lottery.
New York Lottery revenue is distributed to local school districts by the same statutory formula used to distribute other state aid to education. It takes into account both a school district’s size and its income level; larger, lower-income school districts receive proportionately larger shares of Lottery school funding.
The New York Lottery is overseen by the New York State Gaming Commission. The Commission regulates all aspects of gaming and gambling activity in the state, including horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering, class III Indian gaming, video lottery terminal facilities at race tracks, the state lottery and charitable gaming.