Scratch Away! North Carolina's Lottery Begins

MARCH 30, 2006 -- North Carolina's lottery is officially underway. The first scratch-off ticket was purchased in Raleigh by Board of Education Chairman Howard Lee.  He bought five tickets.

In Wilmington, State Senator Julia Boseman and Patricia Willoughby, Education Advisor to Governor Easley, bought the first tickets at 6:30 Thursday morning.  Senator Boseman says she's waiting until an event later in the morning before she actually scratches off the tickets.

Governor Easley expects the state to raise $4 million in lottery sales this year.  Lottery officials are expecting to sell between $1 million and $2 million in tickets on Thursday alone.

But as you're out buying lottery tickets, the Attorney General wants you to be careful. He says complaints of lottery scams and frauds have increased recently.

The scams are normally in the form of letters, emails and telemarketing calls. Many originate in other countries such as Spain, Canada and Australia or other states such as Nevada and Florida. They may list fake game names such as the Canadian National Lottery or the Las Vegas Actionable Awards Program. The scam promises you a prize if you send in money to cover taxes or other fees.

If you think you're the victim of a scam call the Attorney General's office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.