State News

Lottery Sales Below State Projections

Posted December 19, 2006

— The North Carolina lottery raised about $145 million for education programs during its first 10 months, according to an audit released Tuesday, but sales are running far below state projections.

More than $412 million in lottery tickets have been sold so far, but when the games started in March, state officials expected they would have about $600 million at this point.

The legislature projected $1.2 billion in sales by the end of the fiscal year next June 30, which would raise $401 million for education.

"So we are running behind what projections are, but we have about six months to get there," lottery director Tom Shaheen said, noting that he expected about $1 billion in sales by next June. "No matter what we get to, it's a revenue stream that last year we didn't have for education."

The audit, conducted by KPMG LLP under a contract with State Auditor Les Merritt, covers Aug. 31, 2005, to June 30. The lottery has paid $145 million to date to state schools.

At least 35 percent of net revenues from the North Carolina Education Lottery must be used for initiatives such as class-size reduction, preschool programs, school construction and college scholarships for needy students.

North Carolina became the last state on the East Coast to adopt a lottery after approving the games during last year's legislative session.

The state began selling scratch-off tickets in March, and Powerball sales started in late May. The state launched two numbers games in October.


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  • Lulli Dec 20, 2006

    At the very beginning of the scratch offs, it was easy to win - sometimes $50 to $100. Now, it is hard to win even a $1 or a free ticket! I buy tickets from several places & clerks treat customers purchasing lottery tickets as an intrusion & inconvenience. I was even told at one store that I would have to wait to purchase lottery tickets after the paying customers were waited on. Needless to say, I haven't returned to that store to purchase anything! Another problem is that all stores do not follow the same rules. One set of stores will not pay out more than $50 in cash - it has to be a money order; and, they will not cash the money order! The state of North Carolina needs to put some hardfast rules in place & encourage clerks to treat lottery customers with more respect. Clerks are not very knowledgeable of new games. I enjoy playing the lottery, but I dislike the treatment by clerks!

  • OldWolf Dec 20, 2006

    I never have been for lotteries, the reason being I think it largely attracts people who are in the least position to afford it. Plus, the NC lottery was passed under a less than ideal (even ethical I must add) legislative situation. The passage was not one of North Carolina’s shining moments.

  • Ladibug Dec 20, 2006

    Everyone knows that the lottery is gambling. You may or may not win, but I have to say that the scratch-off tickets are a disappointment. The odds of winning anything from a scratch-off ticket definitely needs changing. I have spent as much as $30 at one time on scratch-offs to not even win $1.00. I also hear that as a major complaint from once upon a time buyers of tickets.

  • jeff8948 Dec 20, 2006

    the lottery in north carolina needs much improvment.
    why should people that want to play have to search for a store that is not to busy to sell tickets,i have even been told i could not buy a powerball ticket because the machine was out of paper and no one knew how to reload it.
    north carolina will always be behind the rest of the country at everything it does...its the redneck way to be.

  • dsdaughtry Dec 19, 2006

    One problem with the lottery sales is either the main site server is offline causing no sales of any computer generated lottery ticket. The other is poorly trained terminal operators or operators that refuse to sell lottery tickets after certain hours. In other states lottery sales are 24 hours a day if the store is open 24 hours. Just on Western Blvd in Raleigh most lottery vendors will not sell printable tickets but will sell scratch offs. Finally its the lack of certain games. Pick 3 is only once a day while people would spend more if the drawings were twice a day (noon and evening). There are no Pick 4 games like that of other states (something I play in VA still today). Finally, there is no excitement to the games. This is my two cents.