Bill would take 'education' out of lottery name

Posted February 26, 2013
Updated February 27, 2013

— A bill filed Tuesday by a bipartisan group of lawmakers would place restrictions on lottery advertising and remove the word "education" from the state gambling enterprise's formal title. 

Both Democrats and Republicans sponsored House Bill 156,also known as the Honest Lottery Act, including House Speaker Pro Tem Paul "Skip" Stam and Minority Leader Larry Hall.

The bill does not contain a previously discussed provision that would prohibit those on public assistance from buying lottery tickets.

However, it would block the lottery from advertising at high school and college athletic events. 

"We would never, ever do high schools," said Alice Garland, director of the state lottery. 

For a time, lottery advertising was banned from University of North Carolina campuses when Erskine Bowles was president of the university system. Current UNC President Tom Ross reversed that policy, and there is lottery advertising on a handful of campuses' sporting events now, including UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.

"We don't sell tickets there," Garland said, noting that the advertising is aimed at letting people know about the portion of lottery proceeds that go to support university scholarships. 

"We think that's a very good message for a college venue," she said.

As for the part of the measure that would removed the word education form the title of the North Carolina Education Lottery, Garland called that "a mistake."

"I think it plays right into the public impression that the legislature is spending the money on something other than education," she said.

Although the state lottery law earmarks lottery revenue for education programs, lawmakers have the option to move that money around. At least once in recent memory, lottery proceeds have been shifted to help cover Medicaid expenses

"Why should you use a worthy cause to sell what is a fool's errand," Stam, R-Wake, said before this year's legislative session started. Using "education" in the name is a "marketing tool," he said, something that allows players to feel better about their spending.

Other parts of the bill would require that lottery advertising state the odds of winning in different ways. For example, the lottery could not just disclose the overall odds of winning but would have to show the odds of winning the biggest prize. The bill also calls for UNC to study "lottery participation as to frequency, amounts spent, family income levels, and other socioeconomic factors."


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  • bgibson3 Mar 6, 2013

    The Legislature was through with all the Budget voting, and in every other year, when that is over, they quickly adjourn, and all make like bandits back home, out of town, vamoose, etc. But, not that year. They were through, supposedly, but didn't adjourn. However, Harry Brown (R-Onslow) took that weekend to get married and was unreachable, or unwilling to vote the Ed Lot down. The other Republican that could have stopped it, had some kind of medical issue. Whatever the case, you couldn't blame either of them, now could you?

  • bgibson3 Mar 6, 2013

    Why not just have the North Carolina "Tax" Lottery? If you pay taxes in NC, you can choose to play or not. At the end of the year, the State "forgives" randomly to a certain total amount, and those winners don't have to pay any of their tax amount for that year. Legislators tax according to need. If you need money for "education", you charge the citizens of NC that amount (honest & above board) in taxes. And, you get rid of the rest of the gambling industry in NC (except for the Reservation). No having to watch the endless WRAL Education Lottery Ads. No having a bunch of NC money go to "out of state" winners.

  • FairPlay Feb 27, 2013

    No state that gives lottery money to education has the name is the title. It is all "______ State Lottery". Georgia gives 100% to scholarships and they do not use the term. It was put in there because Bev Perdue wanted it in to make it get more backing from people as they rammed the bill in.

  • Chatham Rebel Feb 27, 2013

    But it don't matter, so long as any one of the two major parties are in control, we're going to end up paying. It's the American way.-Rebelyell55
    So taking the name "education" out of the lottery is going to cost your $$, explain that to me IF you can. It's amazing at the lengths some democrats will go to. Supporting the change, finally an administration that gets it.

  • HVYGEE5616 Feb 27, 2013

    I agree that stopping lottery sales to those on public assistance makes sense. I disagree that taking the "education" name out of the lottery is a good idea. Initially, the lottery was passed on the idea that proceeds from the lottery would aide school construction. I am not clear if that spending has been held to the line. But I am convinced that lottery sales in this state, being more conservative and religiously centered, will diminish if people think our lottery is just a "lottery". Lastly, the lottery should "aid" education spending and be its sole backbone...it would be impossible to strictly budget for education on lottery proceeds that have the potential to be volatile.

  • kenshi Feb 26, 2013

    The lottery money has actually done a lot of good for educational needs in the State. The majority of people voted for it and yes, they knew exactly what they are doing. If you don't want to play, then don't. Simple as that.

  • ryderted Feb 26, 2013

    Wow...so far McCrory is just attempting to TAKE money OUT of NC. We're going to be the poorest state in the nation...woohoo! I wonder how many jobs he can end?

  • hcdozier Feb 26, 2013

    They should rename the NC lottery the "NC Fools Gold Tax".

  • cledbetter Feb 26, 2013

    "People may not believe that the money goes towards education, but it does."

    Sure. No doubt about it. Money from the lottery goes to the schools. What they don't really like to tell you is an EQUAL amount of money that used to come from the taxpayers came back OUT. So the schools just broke even. So if it makes you feel better to believe it's an "education lottery" then please do.

  • Yellow Rider Feb 26, 2013

    They should rename it the NC Takes Advantage of Poor People Lotttery.