June 28, 2013. The N.C. Education Lottery has made its final transfers of lottery revenues to the state for fiscal year 2013, bringing its total contribution to $461.3 million. The transfers mean that in just over seven years of operations the lottery has produced more than $2.9 billion in revenue for North Carolina.
“Thanks to continued growth in the sale of lottery tickets, the Education Lottery increased its contribution to education for the seventh year in a row,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “The sales show North Carolinians enjoy playing the lottery and winning prizes. Their support makes the lottery a reliable source of money for the good cause we serve, education in North Carolina.”
Legislators decide how the lottery dollars are used. Most of the money raised this year, $441 million, went immediately to the education programs that the lottery serves. Here’s how lottery proceeds were allocated:
- Teachers’ salaries in grades K-3 to keep class sizes as low as possible. The state budget allocated $220 million to salaries. It also allocated $16.3 million additional money to local school systems.
- School construction and repairs. Counties received $100 million to help build or repair schools. Projects recently approved for the use of lottery dollars include $2.6 million in Pender County to help pay off school bonds; $5 million in Guilford County to help pay off school bonds; and $2.2 million in McDowell County for classroom additions at West McDowell Junior High School.
- College scholarships and grants based on financial need. The $30.4 million allocated for N.C. Education Lottery Scholarships and $10.7 million allocated to the UNC Need-Based Grant Program will help students pay for the costs of attending a state university or community college beginning this fall. This year, for example, 27,144 students across the state received an Education Lottery Scholarship. “It really made a difference and took a lot of stress off my family,” said one recipient, Shani Nelson of Raleigh, a student at N.C. Central University in Durham.
- N.C. Pre-K program. The program, which received $63 million, serves at-risk four-year-olds by providing a year in an academic pre-school before they begin kindergarten. Lottery dollars made up almost half of the funds for the program, providing Pre-K slots to 12,191 four-year-olds.
The remaining $20 million in lottery proceeds will be allocated by legislators in the new state budget for fiscal year 2014.