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Record $634M Earned for Education Through Lottery, Overall $2.4B of Revenue Recorded

New results for the N.C. Education Lottery show that it raised $634 million in fiscal year 2016 to help support education programs in North Carolina.

As the lottery completed a review of all sales and expenses for the year, earnings rose higher than the preliminary and unaudited results reported initially. Final but unaudited results show overall lottery revenues of $2.39 billion and earnings of $634 million. Lottery revenues grew 21 percent higher than the previous year while earnings increased 22 percent.

The new results were reported Tuesday to the N.C. Education Lottery Commission at its quarterly meeting.

Alice Garland, executive director of the lottery, said the main factors contributing to the record sales were the increasing popularity of the lottery’s instant games and the world-record Powerball jackpot in January of $1.5 billion.

Garland said the change resulted mainly from both prize expenses and administrative expenses coming in lower than estimated. Administrative expenses came in $3.3 million less than budgeted, falling just below 4 percent of overall revenues. Total prize expense amounted to $1.49 billion, but came in $20 million less than budgeted.

“Year after year, the lottery has succeeded in meeting its budget by growing sales and keeping administrative expenses as low as possible,” said Garland. “The success shows the lottery’s commitment to its mission, offering fun games and prizes to North Carolinians while raising money for a great cause.”

If averaged daily, the revised results show the lottery:

  • Achieved sales of $6.5 million a day on average.
  • Awarded prizes of $4.1 million a day on average.
  • Raised $1.7 million a day on average for education.

Legislators decide how lottery proceeds are best used. Currently, lottery proceeds help all school systems with the costs of non-instructional staff; help counties with the costs of building and repairing schools; help North Carolina students pay the cost of going to a state university or community college, and help “at-risk” four-year-olds get a better start in school by covering the costs of attending an academic preschool in the N.C. Pre-K Program.