There are many who have mixed feelings about the lottery system. Some antagonists say it encourages gambling and can be addictive, hurting North Carolina residents. The North Carolina lottery system is actually known as the NC Education Lottery. It is indisputable that the system has been a massive help to schools across the state.
Playing the lottery is one alternative to NC online sports betting, which has yet to be legalized.
NC Lottery Financial Statistics
The North Carolina Education Lottery is very transparent. Information about various financial facts regarding prizes, profits, losses, and much more can be found on its website. Lottery sales totaled $3.88 billion in the 2022 fiscal year, a record for the North Carolina Education Lottery. Here are a few major highlights from the 2022 financial report.
- $2.54 billion in prizes given out.
- 76 prizes of $1 million or more.
- 228 prizes ranging from $100,000 and $1 million.
- The two most significant prizes of the year were $5 million awarded on the 200X on a cash scratch-off game.
Most Popular Lottery Games
For another year, the most popular games within the North Carolina lottery system were scratch-off tickets, followed by the Carolina Pick-3, Carolina Pick-4, and the Powerball.
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Money Awarded to Schools
- The lottery averaged around $2.5 million daily for education.
- Money was awarded to all 100 counties in the state and their school systems.
- The state budget and legislators determine that money and who it goes to.
Details on Money Helping School Systems
The money is a massive help for schools all across the state. Listed below are a few things that money from the North Carolina Lottery system helps with.
- Making college affordable through the funding of scholarships and various grants based on college students’ financial needs.
- Used to help finance the cost of school staffing via teachers, assistants, maintenance, administration, transportation, and more.
- Providing free preschool to many four-year-olds across the state specifically targeted to at-risk children.
- Building and repairing schools.
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School Systems Benefiting from the Lottery System with Building Projects
One of the largest pieces of the financial pie awarded by the NC Education Lottery is assisting school districts with building needs. This can range from restoration, additions, and new construction projects. The Lottery system has awarded $1.2 billion in the last six years.
Those funds have helped build 39 new schools, 10 new buildings, 69 new K-12 construction projects, and the replacement of 55 existing schools. Here are schools districts that have been awarded money in 2022 and details on how it will be used.
Alleghany County: $47 million awarded to build a new high school replacing the district’s current one.
Cherokee County: Awarded $50 million to help a new central county high school replace the county’s current three high schools.
Gates County: awarded $9.9 million for renovations and additions to Gates County High School.
Greene County: Awarded $50 million to build a new high school replacing the county’s only existing high school.
Halifax County: $50 million awarded to build a new 6th-12th grade school for Weldon City school replacing their existing two schools.
Hyde County: $8.3 million awarded for renovations and additions across the Mattamuskeet pre-K through 12th-grade school.
Pamlico County: $50 million awarded to build a new 6th-12th grade school replacing their existing two schools.
Perquimans County: $36.9 million for a new 3rd-8th grade intermediate school replacing two existing schools.
Tyrrell County: $350,000 for a new career and tech center to serve the early college and high school.
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NC Education Lottery Impact
On a personal note, I am a resident of Clay County, which borders Cherokee county, where I was a teacher for three years. I have seen first hand in Clay County, where one of my children attended an excellent new primary school that was very much needed. Large portions of the money used to build it was awarded by the NC Education Lottery.
In Cherokee County, the high schools are very old, and the new central high school being built is badly needed. What is essential to know is that both counties are small rural counties that, without assistance, could never afford to build these new schools. I can say from seeing it firsthand that these North Carolina Education Lottery funds are being put to good use for North Carolina students.
AP Photo/Gerry Broome