A big lottery win was a big loss at Lake Shore. So district helped get the law changed (The Buffalo News)

Barbara O'Brien - The Buffalo News

March 06, 2023

Originally published in The Buffalo News on March 06, 2023.

What are the chances?

Everyone was happy when a North Evans man won an $80 million Powerball drawing on a ticket he bought at Tops Markets in Derby in 2019. Well, almost everyone.

Shortly after the winner was announced that October – he took a lump sum payment of $57.3 million – Lake Shore Central School District knew it would affect how much state aid it received.

"Part of the state aid formulas are based on property and income wealth," Superintendent Daniel Pacos said.

The reimbursement for transportation and some special education aid depends on a formula that takes adjusted gross income into effect.


State Sen. Sean Ryan, D-Buffalo, and Assemblyman William Conrad III, D-Town of Tonawanda, sponsored legislation that addressed the effect of extra money from lottery and video game winnings. The bill allows lottery winnings greater than 25% of a district's adjusted gross income to be excluded from the district's adjusted gross income. Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the bill in December.

"It's only for lottery winners," Ryan said. "I put my focus on fixing it, because you know it's going to happen again to some other district, and they shouldn't have to go through what Lake Shore went through."

Click here to read the full story.