Local News

Lottery Sales Fall Short, Officials Urge Customers to Buy Tickets

Posted December 26, 2007
Updated December 27, 2007

— The clock was ticking Wednesday night as lottery officials pushed hard for people to buy the remaining lottery raffle tickets.

Some convenience stores had lottery representatives on site urging customers to buy the $20 tickets. Since the raffle started in early November, people have not been buying the way lottery officials had hoped.

For some, $20 per ticket proved to be too expensive.

“If it was $10, it would be more convenient. Everybody wasn’t born with a silver spoon. You know what I mean?” said Dexter Banks.

More than a fifth of the tickets are not expected to be sold for this raffle. Lottery administrators said that's surprising, especially after they sweetened the pot following the first raffle this summer.

“We would have thought that the more prizes – based on the player feedback that we had and the shorter time frame – would have given us at least an equivalent to the last raffle of selling,” said Tom Shaheen, executive director of the North Carolina Education Lottery.

Customers had 11 fewer days to buy a ticket for the Merry Millionaire raffle. Lottery sales representatives said that has a lot to do with why so many tickets remained. Many customers had a different take.

“Twenty dollars is a lot to me right now, after Christmas,” said Carol Bailey.

Shaheen says the raffle is supposed to reach out to a different player.

“For those who say it’s too much, they shouldn’t be buying them. If they feel like it’s too much, then reality is what it is, they are too much,” he said.

While buyers and sellers might haggle over price, retailers said they'll just keep on pitching the sale.

“The good part about it is that it’s only in North Carolina, which means it gives everybody a great chance of winning,” said retailer Brian Hinton.

This go-round, those chances are going up. For every ticket that's not sold, the chances of winning increase. Lottery officials say in the next few weeks, they'll evaluate how this raffle went and decide then whether to hold a third one.


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  • yacs Dec 28, 2007

    floyd_lawson: "They use that for a reason to raise taxes so the schools get get the money they were promised from the lottery that didn't live up to expectations."

    I don't understand - if there'd never been a lottery, wouldn't they still have had to raise taxes to get that money?

  • mvnull Dec 27, 2007

    "We still try it on occassion since it's "supposed" to be going to the schools and lord knows our schools need it." I cut out the middle man and donate directly to the schools. In that way, they get ALL the donation.

  • Trivr Dec 27, 2007

    In an unrelated story on WRAL, our congress has launched an investigation into churches who preach the prosperity gospel. They claim the teaching preys on the poor and elderly with the hope of financial gain. Church goers are lured with the hope of financial blessing which often never comes, while the organizers are becoming wealthy.

  • EZGoing Dec 27, 2007

    What a laugh!!! Look at the mega salaries being paid to administer the NC state lottery. Some of them make more than the states executive staff. Somebody tell me why it takes so many ultra high paid people, including the man at the top to administer a failing program.. I give up on lottery logic.

  • GWALLY Dec 27, 2007

    Never bet against the house, the lottery, tax increases, gubment education "plans", or nc politicians.....YOU LOSE (please play again) !!

  • patriotsrevenge Dec 27, 2007

    Glad to veyor, you need the education. RIDICULOUS is the correct spelling.

  • veyor Dec 27, 2007

    Keep paying my taxes for me lottery lovers. How rediculous.

  • ladyblue Dec 27, 2007

    Beg on!!!!! I told you I didn't gamble and I meant it. It matters not to me that people don't want to take their hard earned money and tinkle it out the window. I can't believe the state is begging for gamblers.. LOL

  • LK1215 Dec 27, 2007

    It was shoved by down our throats, dirty-handed, and it has "dirty" tactics linked to it. I'm glad it is failing.

  • C6-YA Dec 27, 2007

    No, thanks! This is one "optional tax" I don't have to pay for once.