They’re not quite one in a million, but some Alaskans are richer for being four in 9,833.
There were nearly 10,000 entries in the state’s second annual Permanent Fund Dividend Education Raffle, and on Wednesday, state Department of Revenue officials and state Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, were present in the State Office Building to draw the names of four people who each won thousands of dollars.
The raffle was created by House Bill 213 in 2018, which also created an education endowment fund and a dividend raffle fund. People are able to enter the raffle when applying for the PFD in exchange for a $100 contribution to public education.
“What we’ve done in a nutshell is create a permanent fund for education,” said Bishop, who was among the bill’s backers in the Senate, in remarks prior to the drawing. He credited over a dozen other lawmakers with helping to pass the bill that created the raffle and funds.
By virtue of the raffle’s 9,833 entries, a total of $983,300 was contributed to the education raffle. That’s up from 8,698 contributions totaling $869,800 in the raffle’s inaugural year.
“That’s a lot more money that was raised for education, so we’re happy to be here to do this,” said Mike Barnhill, deputy commissioner of the state’s Department of Revenue.
Barnhill and others in attendance wore face masks sporting a PFD Education Raffle logo.
Of the money contributed for this year’s raffle, 50% ($491,640) is allocated for supplemental grants that will go toward school districts, 25% ($245,825) is allocated for the education endowment fund and 25% ($245,825) is allocated for the raffle fund, according to the Department of Revenue.
Fifteen percent of the raffle fund is the source of prize money. In the instance of Wednesday’s drawing, 8% ($34,499.65) went to the first-place winner Abraham Horpestad; 4% ($17,249.82) went to the second-place winner Rory Stark; 2% ($8,624.91) went to the third-place winner Mark Davis; and 1% ($4,312.46) went to the fourth-place winner, according to news releases from the governor’s office.
The remaining 85% of the raffle fund will grow the fund for future prize money.