Local News

Tar Heels Try Their Lottery Luck South Of The Border

Posted January 9, 2002

— North Carolinians are heading south of the border thanks to the lure of the lottery. On Monday, South Carolina started its first lottery to benefit education.

Richard Garrett and his mother drove from Fayetteville, hoping to win big.

"It's the thrill of seeing if you are actually going to win something or blow all your money," Garrett said.

Just like in North Carolina, the idea of a lottery in South Carolina has been controversial, but supporters won when voters approved a lottery.

Four different types of scratch-off tickets went on sale Monday. Players have a choice of the $1 games -- 3 Times Lucky, Lottery Logo Game and Scenic South Carolina -- or the $2 Carolina Riches game. The $2 game includes a grand prize of $100,000.

The type of lottery where players pick their own numbers will start this spring.

At some stores in Dillon County, tickets were selling at the rate of about 1,000 per hour. Some stores sold out before noon.

More than 3,000 South Carolina retailers are now selling tickets. Dillon County and neighboring Horry County, which are both located right off Interstate 95, have the most retailers per capita.

South Carolina's move means the Tar Heel state is now sandwiched between three states that offer big jackpots.

"North Carolina needs to get on the job, because the reality is, it's going to go south. If you snooze you lose," Eddie Burden of St. Pauls said.

Before Monday's launch, it was estimated at least $125 million a year was flowing over state lines to Georgia and Virginia.

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