NC Lottery again?

So NC Gov Mike Easley is back on the lottery bandwagon? Of course, the money is all for Education, right? Well, I remember working at a liquor store in New Jersey in the summers, and we sold lottery tickets. I read a document on where the money went. We had been told that it was for education. So, let’s take a look at where the money goes in other states (I have included good detail where I could find it: all info comes solely from the official websites):

Arizona: The Arizona Lottery does not directly fund any programs or projects. Proceeds are determined either by legislation (Local Transportation Assistance Fund, County Assistance Fund, Mass Transit, etc.) or by a vote of the people, as is the case with the Heritage Fund.

California: The Annual Report of Lottery Expenditures for K-12 Education prepared by the California Department of Education reports that on average 77% of Lottery funds are spent on Salaries and Benefits for instructors, 18% on classroom materials such as textbooks while the remainder is spent in other areas.

Colorado: up to 50% for the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust fund, 10% to Parks and Recreation, 40% to the Conservation Trust fund. GOCO is capped at $35 million, with anything above that goes to education.

Connecticut: no info

Delaware: all to the General Fund (Mike would like this!)

Florida: Florida Statute specifically designates that for every dollar of revenue generated by the Florida Lottery at least 50 cents of each dollar goes to prize payouts and 39 cents of Online sales and a variable rate from Scratch-Off games go to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.

Georgia: According to the Georgia Lottery for Education Act and the Georgia Constitution, proceeds from lottery sales are used to solely fund the following educational programs:
Tuition grants, scholarships or loans to undergraduate college students and teachers who seek advanced degrees in critical areas of need;
Voluntary prekindergarten program;
Technology grants to train teachers in the use and application of advanced technology and capital outlay projects for educational facilities.

Idaho: 57.3% to prizes, 21.5% to education

Illinois: Out of every dollar: 56¢ – Prizes Awarded to Winners $881 Million in FY03 .34¢ – Transfers to Common School Fund (state aid to schools) $540 Million in FY03 .06¢ – Retailer and Vendor Commissions and Bonuses $106 Million in FY03 .04¢ – Operating Expenses, Including Salaries, Advertising, and Telecommunications $63 Million in FY03
Indiana: Out of every dollar: 2¢ Advertising and promotions, 2¢ salaries, Administrative expenses and other income/expenses, 10¢ retailer and suppliers, 29¢ back to the state as profit, 57¢ back to players in the form of prizes

Iowa: Lottery proceeds are transferred to the General Fund. That means lottery dollars are helping all the causes aided by the General Fund — such as education, transportation and economic development. Nearly 60 percent of the General Fund is dedicated to education programs and 20 percent to Human Service programs.

Kansas: The Kansas Lottery Act requires that a minimum of 45 percent of total revenue funds be returned to the public through the prize fund. Currently, an average of 52 percent is being paid out in prizes. (Nothing overt goes to education.)

Kentucky: Since Fiscal Year 1999, the Kentucky Lottery has provided more than $400 million (of over $2 billion) to the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) Program, the College Access Program and the Kentucky Tuition Grants Program

Louisiana: 35% goes to the State Treasury
Maine: – Lottery proceeds go to the state’s General Fund which supports over 250 state agencies and programs that provide a wide range of services for the citizens of Maine.

Maryland: 32.8% goes to the State Fund, to be spent on whatever.

Massachusetts: Lottery revenues are distributed to the 351 cities and towns of the Commonwealth according to a local aid formula established by the Legislature. Lottery funds are not earmarked for any specific programs,

Michigan: all the money goes to education after winnings have been paid out (over $11 billion so far since 1973)

For every dollar spent on Lottery tickets in Fiscal Year 2003:
58 cents went to pay prizes to winning players
13.2 cents was used to pay administrative and operating costs
6.3 cents was paid to retailers in the form of commission and incentives
The remaining 22.5 cents went to the state:
10.7 cents to the state General Fund to support services such as K-12 education, health care, aid to local governments and public safety. Of this amount, $1.80 million was set aside to help combat compulsive gambling. The Lottery is currently the sole source of funding for state-provided services for problem gamblers. Since the Lottery started, $685.8 million has gone to the General Fund.
6.2 cents to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund to finance projects that preserve, restore and enhance our state’s natural resources. The Trust Fund is financing 39 projects, totaling $30 million, this biennium (2003-2005). Since the Lottery started, the Trust Fund has received more than $311.8 million.

5.6 cents more to the state’s environment which received a boost when the 2000 Legislature reallocated the in-lieu-of-sales tax. This money which was previously allocated to the General Fund now goes to fish and game, parks, trails and zoos.
2.8 cents to the Game and Fish Fund
2.8 cents to the Natural Resources Fund

Missouri: How Each Dollar Is Divided
Approximately 28.5 cents of every dollar spent on the Missouri Lottery benefits Missouri’s education programs. Sixty and a half cents goes back to players as prizes, 5 cents is used for administrative costs and 6 cents goes to retailers in the form of commissions, incentives and bonuses. In all, nearly 93 cents of every dollar stays in Missouri!

Montana: Since July 1, 1995, all revenue the Montana Lottery returns to the State of Montana goes to the state’s General Fund. The General Fund provides money to programs for the general operation of state government.

Nebraska: the money is spread all around. More of a General Fund
New Hampshire: 39 years and $856 million to New Hampshire public education.
The future of New Hampshire is in all of our hands.
Approximately 30 cents of each dollar goes back to the state in the form of aid to education.

New Jersey: $765 million to programs in fiscal 2003. Just about zip went to K-12:

New Mexico: $33.1 million in 2003 for College tuition fund

New York: $1.9 billion Aid to Education (33%) 2003-2004. No breakdown of where.

Ohio: The General Assembly may authorize an agency of the state to conduct lotteries, to sell rights to participate therein, and to award prizes by chance to participants, provided that the entire net proceeds of any such lottery are paid into a fund of the state treasury that shall consist solely of such proceeds and shall be used solely for the support of elementary, secondary, vocational, and special education programs as determined in appropriations made by the General Assembly. This was $641 million in 2003.

OK, that’s enough. There are a few more states, but it goes pretty much the same. Does the money really go to education, like so many elected officials say? In some cases, yes. But it looks like a lot of the $$$ goes to higher education and special educational programs, and possibly educational administration.

Would a Lottery benefit North Carolina Education? Based on Easley’s spending history, nope. No chance. Easley is using the lottery talk simply to put him in favor with the people, who want a lottery. According to this poll, 89% want a lottery. Ok, it is an internet poll. Still valid. Provided Easley is reelected, what chance is there of Easley keeping his promise? Then putting the money where he says it will go.

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12 Responses to “NC Lottery again?”

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  2. jolly blogger says:

    Man, the lottery is like a garage sale… you can run for an item, but you will fail and someone will get there first and you will feel miserable, so just give up and for God’s sake, GET A LIFE!

  3. Will Mike E Get HIs Lottery?

    The question on many news sites minds is will Mike Easley get his Educational Lottery?There are many for or against a lottery, and many (like me), who can take it or leave it. My concern is that the lottery money…

  4. Natalie says:

    We might as well have a lottery. Most people are driving to other states to buy lottery tickets. Let’s keep North Carolina money IN North Carolina!!

  5. David McCraw says:

    I am not for or against a lottery for North Carolina, but I do have something to say about it.
    If you allow a lottery and do away with video poker, thats is not right. Gambling is Gambling. Either allow both or allow neither.
    Just my thoughts. Thanks for listening.

  6. David McCraw says:

    I am not for or against a lottery for North Carolina, but I do have something to say about it.
    If you allow a lottery and do away with video poker, thats is not right. Gambling is Gambling. Either allow both or allow neither.
    Just my thoughts. Thanks for listening.

  7. Terry says:

    This story is extremely misleading. When states choose to have a lottery it is not predetermined that all fund must allocate it funds to education. While this article suggest that, Any money can be allocated where needed
    Lets see if are willing to increase your tax load and do away with all lotterys

  8. Grayson says:


  9. smith101 says:

    I live in NC, and while I have read much on the debate between both sides, the lottery, by all centralized standards, is something you could take or leave. Simply because the revenue drawn from such a lottery constitutes about 2-3% of a state budget total. The interesting point of a state controlled lottery is the governments incredible rate of return. While the marketplace will usually return about 65-97% of the prize, the government will return, probably, 50%. Will this go entirely to education? Most likely not. But the good news is, in fact, this state supposedly has outstanding educational status, pointing to Head Start and other programs. While our state government may discuss and entertain the idea of giving this money to an education fund, our bottom 20 percentile record for our students won’t exactly see any improvements even if it were all given. Despite all this, money isn’t the only answer to education.

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  11. star says:

    I am for the N.C. lottery 100%.If you think about it why should the money that North Carolinians spend in buy tickets go towards S.C. schools?It wouldn’t be so bad if some of the money went toward N.C. schools.

  12. star says:

    I am for the N.C. lottery 100%.If you think about it why should the money that North Carolinians spend in buy tickets go towards S.C. schools?It wouldn’t be so bad if some of the money went toward N.C. schools.

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