Lottery commission adds Mega Millions

Posted November 2, 2009

— Lottery players in North Carolina should soon be able to play for up to four big jackpots a week instead of just two.

The North Carolina Education Lottery Commission voted Monday to begin selling tickets for the Mega Millions multi-state drawing that's currently in 12 states. Powerball tickets already are sold in North Carolina and 32 other jurisdictions.

The consortium behind Mega Millions and the Urbandale, Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs Powerball, have agreed in principle to cross-sell tickets for both games beginning next year, officials said. The groups see the deal as a way to boost lottery revenues for states.

North Carolina lottery executive director Tom Shaheen said there are still details to work out, but Mega Millions could be sold in North Carolina by Jan. 31.

N.C. Education Lottery Lottery adds Mega Millions

“By adding another big jackpot game, our state can expect cross-selling revenues to be 18 to 25 percent higher than current Powerball sales for the first fiscal year or roughly $38 million to $52 million,” Shaheen said. “This would mean a return of approximately $11 million to $15 million more for education. If we experience longer jackpot runs than anticipated, these numbers may be higher.

Lottery opponents disagree with the decision.

“Clearly the deal is that the state of North Carolina is enticing people to give up their hard-earned money with a once in a million chance of getting rich, because they don’t want to raise revenue the honest way,” said Chris Fitzsimon, director of North Carolina Policy Watch.

Mega Millions drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays, while Powerball drawings are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Mega Millions holds the record for the largest U.S. lottery jackpot — $390 million on March 6, 2007. The largest Powerball jackpot was $365 million on Feb. 18, 2006.

Holiday games introduced

The state will launch its three holiday-themed games on Tuesday.

Jingle Big Ol’ Bucks, a $5 game with more than $9.2 million in total prizes, includes eight top prizes of $100,000. It also features more than 47,000 prizes between $50 and $100.

The $2 game Holiday Gifts has eight top prizes of $25,000. It also offers prizes between $25 and $1,000.

Stocking Stuffer, a $1 game, offers prizes from $50 and $100.


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  • ledhead151 Nov 3, 2009

    Wait a second. Did someone say wrestling is rigged? Show me the proof.

  • Rdi73162 Nov 3, 2009

    sweet, more money for the education lottery.... how many more teachers will lose their job now???

  • aintbackingdwn Nov 3, 2009

    Mega millions for mega losers. It should read NC un-educated lottery.

  • BubbaDuke Nov 3, 2009

    At least I won't have to drive to Virginia to buy a Mega Lottery ticket any longer.

  • BubbaDuke Nov 3, 2009

    Saves me a trip to Virginia.

  • aintbackingdwn Nov 3, 2009

    I think they should start teaching the art of playing the lottery to elementary children to prepare them to invest heavily in their childrens education. Lottery 101. We seem to be missing the boat with the lottery funds somewhere.

  • pulstar40 Nov 3, 2009

    Well, DUH. Of course there are only a certain number of winners in the scratch off tickets. And if you take the time to actually read the information on the official website, it tells you EXACTLY how many tickets are issued for every single prize level for every single scratch off game. That is how they know the exact odds of winning.

  • Trolling Wolf Nov 3, 2009

    "Here in NC, I think the percentage is around 10 to 15% scratch winners."

    You are waaaay wrong on this. In fact, some of the scratch off games had over 70% winners. All are over 50%. And Tennessee does not have a higher were just lucky. That's the way the games work.

  • Dark_Horse Nov 3, 2009

    ...Because nothin' says "Happy Birthday, Jesus" like a scratch off lottery ticket.

  • foetine Nov 3, 2009

    There's a 1 in 365 chance that Jesus was born on Dec 25 which is better than the odds of rgb winning the Mega-Millions.

    The fact is that while giving to Toys for Tots might not seem Christian to some people - it does allow a kid that's part of a situation that's not so well feel that somebody in American society does want them to have a little joy on a December morning. Instead we've got the lottery people swearing that Baby Jesus is going to make you a scratch and win Messiah. Although if you lose, you can blame it all on Baby Jesus not loving you and wanting you to get that pot of gold that will pull you out of your economic spiral.

    Far as rigged goes - the lottery did have Ric Flair as a spokesperson. He's a superstar in a rigged sport. Sometimes connections matter when it comes to the message.

    At least if you gamble your money in a Vegas casino, they'll get you a free drink