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Smaller percentage of lottery proceeds going to education

Posted September 24, 2010
Updated September 25, 2010

N.C. Education Lottery

— Like or loathe the state lottery, there's no question the total amount it generates for education keeps growing. One thing that isn't growing, however, is the percentage that goes to schools. The funding formula keeps changing.

Since its inception, state lawmakers and lottery leaders tweaked the funding formula in an effort to increase ticket sales.

A new report from the nonprofit watchdog group North Carolina Policy Watch shows just how much it's changed.

When it started, the lottery paid 35 cents of every dollar sold to education. Now, it's down to 29 cents, says Sara Ovaska with N.C. Policy Watch.

"The actual size of the piece of pie that education is getting is smaller," Ovaska said. "So, how small is it going to get?"

"Whether it's 29 percent or 35 percent or 45 percent, the point for me is that bottom-line dollar, so we've seen more revenue going to schools," Gov. Bev Perdue said.

Percentage of lottery proceeds dropping Percentage of lottery proceeds dropping

Perdue defends the move to put more money in prizes to generate more lottery sales. She also defends moving lottery money out of school construction to save teacher jobs.

The governor says she opposes supplanting school funds with lottery, yet WRAL News tracked the General Fund education allotment from the time the lottery passed.

The games failed to stop a trend going on for years. Overall spending slowly increased, but the actual public school percentage of the General Fund continued to drop off.

Perdue said that without lottery money for education – about $419 million this year – the state would be in a much worse budget situation than it already is.


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  • Dirty_Water Sep 27, 2010

    awesomecards: By increasing the prize money, they made the games more attractive, and sold more tickets.

    Do you REALLY think the average purchaser of lottery tickets has any understanding of odds?

    You REALLY think thinking people said, "Oh, wow. My chance of winning has increased from 1 in 3 million to 1 in 2.6 million. I'll take a hundred dollars worth."


    How much longer before you can purchase lottery tickets with your EBT card?

  • hcain73 Sep 27, 2010

    The lottery was created for education(supposedly). All should go to it minus staffing. Conneticut funds 100% of their education with lottery monies. Why cant we?

  • bwh0069 Sep 24, 2010

    If you don't like what they are doing with the money don't buy tickets.If you don't buy tickets shut up it isn't your money any way.

  • lizard Sep 24, 2010

    There is no teacher loss. They just did a story on that about two weeks ago. They got $300 million from the Feds and don't know what to do with it.

  • Mark G Sep 24, 2010

    Everyone who fought against the lottery warned of this happening. It has happened in every state where "our children" were used as the EXCUSE to create a lottery. How anyone can trust our elected officials is now beyond me. There is only one way to fix it. Vote ALL of them out. Every incumbent should go and the new ones warned that if they go in with business as usual, they will be a one hit wonder.

  • rednek Sep 24, 2010

    If the Wake county funds going to the schools have been reduced, why have not my taxes been reduced also?

  • Sherlock Sep 24, 2010

    If there is more money, why the big lost of teachers? You do not need to build schools if there are no teachers to staff them.

  • awesomecards Sep 24, 2010

    Most of the people commenting don't even understand the story.

    There is MORE money going to schools than before. By focusing on the percentage, you miss the bottom line.

    Here's an example:

    35% of $10 million equals $3.5 million
    29% of $14 million equals $4.06 million

    By increasing the prize money, they made the games more attractive, and sold more tickets.

    The pie got bigger, and the cash payout for education got bigger too. There's no crisis or scandal here. It's actually a surprising bit of evidence that something in this state's government is being run intelligently.

  • OhBella Sep 24, 2010

    Makes me wonder that what they are doing with the "General Fund" money now, since they are putting less of that toward school funding.

  • davidgnews Sep 24, 2010

    This was a bait and switch shell game from the beginning. You want REAL revenue, then legalize REAL gambling besides having it on a reservation. Anything less is a bad joke.