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N.C. Lottery Trying to Boost Ticket Sales

Posted November 21, 2007

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— The North Carolina lottery hopes to boost ticket sales with heftier prizes. Three holiday instant games and a millionaire raffle offer more chances to win, and with bigger payouts.

Ticket sales are $7million behind last year's pace. Lawmakers recently allowed lottery officials to increase prizes to keep up with neighboring state lotteries.

“In order for us to raise more money for education, we have to sell more tickets. In order for us to sell more tickets, we have to give consumers the product they want and that's more prizes,” lottery executive director Tom Shaheen said.

It used to be just over 50 percent of scratch-off sales revenue went to prizes. Now, nearly half of the instant games devote 60 to 68 percent to payouts.

“They're trying to entice more people into a bad bet,” said Rep. Paul Stam, R-Wake.

Stam said the bait will result in higher gambling losses. He claims the push to raise more money for schools is pure spin.

“The lottery money is enough money to build one school a year in Wake County and we've got to build dozens ever year,” he said.

With more revenue going to prizes, a lower percentage will go to education. But lottery officials said higher ticket sales will overall generate more money.

From July to November of last year, the N.C. lottery raked in about $348 million in ticket sales.

Lottery officials expect tickets to sell out for the holiday millionaire raffle. Only 500,000 tickets will be offered, more than 103,000 have sold so far.

In its most recent quarterly transfer, the lottery had funneled $80 million to education.


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  • applesmith Nov 23, 2007

    How about some winning tickets for players and less for lawmakers.

  • djofraleigh Nov 22, 2007

    "I'd bet my Master's degree that you're wrong." (that the poor/uneducated spend disproportionately more on the lottery)

    Perhaps, this educated person has been playing, hoping to win big and change his/her life, and took offense enough to throw hir Master's Degree on the table...but master of what? What are those with PhD's in Statistics saying? I'd like to know who the losers and winners are.

    Gambling is a problem in that it PRODUCES nothing, except some entertainment for the few who turn out to be winners, and worse, problems for people who invest money they can't afford into a betting system that is certainly for losers. Let it pay off 100%, and the state get their profit from the high tax.

    Millions go out of the state every month to those running the lottery, and millions leave poor counties to come to Raleigh government.

    I'd be interested to see if the poorest counties in each region are getting as much back for education as they are sending out in sales.

  • WXYZ Nov 22, 2007

    Come on people! PLEASE! Gamble away ALL of your money! Maybe if the lottery makes more money, my property taxes will stop skyrocketing. I can't afford to pay my taxes AND gamble, so I would appreciate the help. Thanks!

  • outhouseman 2007 Nov 22, 2007

    how bout somewinning tickets!

  • Nancy Nov 22, 2007

    "She is a custodian at a school who had a $500 a month lottery habit. This is how the government persecutes the poor."

    She's an adult, she makes choices, she's not being persecuted by the government. No more than someone who goes to the state run liquor stores and overspends on hard liquor.

  • grant Nov 22, 2007

    If all this money is goint to the schools, why do they have to have so many rip off Candyman drives and such? If you dont drop 100 buck on junk or are crazy enough to drive your kid door too door (yikes) or annoy people at your work place, you kid misses our on parties and such at school with their classmates. So where is the money going???

  • dianadarling Nov 22, 2007

    Did you see the Charlotte woman who won $200,000 with a scratch off? 136,000 after taxes? She is a custodian at a school who had a $500 a month lottery habit. This is how the government persecutes the poor.


  • loisyvette4040 Nov 22, 2007

    Correction, I ment to say the States Capital and Greensboro. My suggestion is find a better way to build schools

  • loisyvette4040 Nov 22, 2007

    The amount of money that is paid out on any of the lottery sales (Scratch-off Tickets, Pick-3, Cash-5 and Lotto) are very low considering the money that is taken in. Compare the amount played on each of these over the last year to the amount that is paid out, on a National average it is very low. And the Major winners in the Big Games come from ( the Greensbore, Charlotte and Greenville area), to see big winners in the Nations Capital has been rare. Virginia and SOuth Carolina continue to treat the people that play there fairly. And you can actually see where the money goes. Yes something is rotten in Denmark, time and a good auditer will tell ALL.

  • mntndreamn Nov 22, 2007

    I played the lottery when I lived in Kansas and I played the VA lottery by driving from Durham. I wanted the lottery to come here as much as the next person but, I quit buying the scratch off cards within the first 6 months because of rare winnings. I only play the powerball now at 1 ticket a week. They messed up by not offering more winnings in the beginning. Now they will be trying to not only get new customers but, get olds customers like myself that quit buying because we are fedup with low/rare payouts. I wanted the lottery but, I think we are being ripped by Shaheen.