Local Politics

Bill would scratch 'education' off lottery name

Posted May 21, 2008

— What's in a name? One state lawmaker says the North Carolina Education Lottery needs to change its name to avoid sullying the reputation of public education in the state.

"To me, 'lottery' is 'gambling.' We all agree with that, and I thought to assign 'educational lottery' to its name had a demeaning aspect about it," said state Sen. Harris Blake, R-Moore.

When it was approved by state lawmakers three years ago, the lottery was presented to the public as a way to supplement funds for North Carolina's public schools. To date, the numbers games have raised $638 million for school districts statewide.

Still, Blake said he finds the name disturbing.

"Suppose you're trying to teach something about ethics and you refer to the North Carolina Educational Lottery. How do you defend that? How do you explain that?" he said. "It just occurred to me that you take the word 'education' out of it."

Under Senate Bill 1705, the games would be known as the North Carolina State Lottery.

State Rep. Ty Harrell, D-Wake, said changing the lottery's name could lay the groundwork for some unintended consequences.

"The whole purpose of having this lottery instituted ... was for education purposes. So, if we start down this slippery slope, the next thing you know, the money's going to start going towards something other than education," Harrell said. "That isn't something I can support."

Lottery officials said they were unaware of the bill. Whatever the games' name, they said, they expect to transfer another $380 million to North Carolina schools in the coming year.


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  • SS67 May 22, 2008

    ...and what of the lottery is broke?

  • AlleyOops May 22, 2008

    I know Sen. Blake and you couldn't find a better human being. He was a staunch opponent of the lottery in the first place, called out all those who passed it illegally and now that we see what a screwup it's been i have no problem with this.

    It's unlikely this will pass, but as you all can tell by the comments here, there are a lot of people with strong opinions against the lotter and feel it's a failure. If the bill doesnt pass it could lead to something else b/c almost all agree the system right now is broke.

  • enoughsenough May 22, 2008

    TheAdmiral: So it is a tax that isn't reguired, that just doesn't sound right to me.

  • NC is my home May 22, 2008

    While you're at it, take the name of North Carolina off the lottery too! The majority of people didn't want a lottery. It is something Gov. Easley slipped pass in the General Assembly. If it needs a name change, call it the Michael Easley "Get Rich Quick/Don't have to Work" Lottery. That's the real education of a lottery! That's his legacy.

  • nofear May 22, 2008

    government at its best.

  • whatusay May 22, 2008

    Seems our educational system is worse off now than before the lottery. Any now they want to omitt the "education" from the name. Later some elected bozo will introduce a bill to share some of the "educational" funds from the lottery with a road project. Just the beginning of incompetence by eliminating the idea of what it was originally intended for.

  • TheAdmiral May 22, 2008

    enoughsenough -

    Any time a government entity requires to collect money - call it a fee - call it a tax - call it pay to play - any moneys going to the government IS A TAX.

  • TheAdmiral May 22, 2008

    I could have told you this was going to happen. The fact of the matter is that several states put the law on the books "For education" like New York and New Jersey. Then once it became established - they took the education requirements away and now all of the proceeds go into the general fund.

    You watch - Mark my words on this blog. Some Dum chit will put a bill up there to put the money into a trust for education, then that will turn into a road improvement project to go to a school, then it will snowball into a higher tax rate for the rest of us.

    It is coming. Time to whack the lotto now.

  • GWALLY May 22, 2008

    Don't worry about it....with all the "free" Hope, Change and Yes We Can the Dem's have promised the NC "EDUCATION" Lottery will not be necessary and it will just go away!!!!

  • enoughsenough May 22, 2008

    If one more person calls the lottery a tax I will scream!!!!! It is not forced, look up tax in the dictionary please.