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Alaskans get direct deposits of oil-wealth checks

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- The day many Alaskans have been waiting for has arrived with the distribution of checks from Alaska Permanent Fund earnings.

This year's dividend from the permanent fund is $900.

State officials say nearly 593,000 Alaskans are receiving checks.

Of those, about 507,000 will receive the money Thursday through direct deposit. Another 86,000 checks will be mailed to those wanting paper checks.

The 2012 dividend was $878.

The dividends are distributed annually to residents who have lived in Alaska for at least one calendar year.

The dividend amount is based on a five-year average of the $47 billion fund's investment earnings. This year's average includes 2009, a recession year when the fund posted a $2.5 billion net loss in statutory net income.