July 17, 2014. During fiscal year 2014, the games of the North Carolina Education Lottery, including drawings and scratch-off tickets, produced 45 wins of $1 million or more.
“North Carolinians play the lottery for the chance to win big prizes,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the Education Lottery. “It’s great to see so many lucky winners in our state. As people try their luck, they are helping to raise money for education, contributing to sales that raised more than half a billion to that cause in our last year.”
The biggest lottery prize of the year went to Dan Royal, a carpenter from Forest City, who received $5.2 million playing the $5,000 a Week for Life! game. A breakdown of the 45 wins of $1 million or more shows:
· Thirty-two of the wins occurred with instant games; nine occurred with the Powerball game; three wins came with the Mega Millions game; and one came with a second-chance drawing in the Monopoly instant game.
· Winners of $1 million or more lived in 23 different North Carolina counties with seven residing in Wake County, five each in Mecklenburg and Guilford counties; four in Cumberland County, and two each from Halifax, Nash, Cleveland, Rowan, and New Hanover counties.
· Occupations of big winners included carpenters, veterans from the Army and Air Force, a firefighter, a postman, a greenhouse worker, a graphic designer, a poultry farmer, a textile worker, a tax preparer, a furniture maker, and an airline worker.
· Plans for spending winnings included paying bills, saving for retirement, college funds, charities, helping family, buying new homes and cars, investments and taking vacations.
Other highlights of the year included:
· Surpassing $11.4 billion in total sales since inception. As of June 30, sales totaled $11,494,576,479.
· Exceeding $3.4 billion in total contributions to education in North Carolina since inception.
· Setting a new quarterly sales record of $475 million in the last quarter of FY14, up $12 million from the previous record set in the fourth quarter of FY13.
· Collecting $8.7 million in state income taxes in FY14 from prize winnings and $1.3 million in debts owed to state and local governments.
· Transferring $1 million to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services for gambling addiction, education and treatment programs.
· Paying $128 million in commissions to retailers.
· Supporting minority-owned businesses in North Carolina with $10.6 million in contracts either from the NCEL or its vendors.