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Where Do North Carolina Education Lottery Profits Go?

12:14 PM, Nov 15, 2013   |    comments
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 PDF Document: NCEL Education Funding

You might have heard the commercials on the radio. The North Carolina Education Lottery is running ads designed to make players feel good about where the profits from the game end up.

The announcer in the ad says, "Since 2006, the North Carolina Education Lottery has raised more than $3 billion for our schools, students and teachers. All Lottery profits go to education."

WFMY News 2 contacted the NC Education Lottery to ask if all the profits truly do go to education.

In an email, spokesman Van Denton wrote, "...Only one time has lottery money not gone to education. That was in FY11 based on a decision made by the 2010 legislature...The law says half of any unclaimed money goes to education and the other half goes back into lottery prizes. The legislature did not touch the half of unclaimed prize money in FY11 that goes to education, but used some of the unclaimed prize money that would have gone back to prizes."

Spokesman Van Denton also provided the following information:

* State budget documents show all the lottery money in FY12, FY13, FY14 will go to education programs.
* The lottery has provided more than $3 billion to the state. 
* Overall, the lottery is providing now an amount equivalent to about 4 percent of what the state spends on public education each year, from K-12 through the university system.
* Public education spending was more than $10 billion last year and the lottery earned $478 million for the state.

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