Why is the NC Education Lottery still operating?

Why is the NC Education Lottery still operating?
Updated: Apr. 14, 2020 at 10:43 AM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina Education Lottery is still running despite many questions as to why the lottery is considered an essential business.

“Just like all other state agencies, the lottery also is striving to continue operations to meet its mission, raising money for education programs," wrote lottery spokesperson Van Denton. “The money raised this year is needed for education programs that are depending on those funds this year.”

State lottery proceeds fund grants and scholarships, building renovations, and provide salaries for certain school workers.

“Our sales have gone down and we expect them to go down further. Right now our estimates are that we will raise about $27 million less this year than was expected. Depending on how things happen in April, May, and June will determine if that number gets larger,” he said.

Denton said safety should be everyone’s top concern and listed steps The Education Lottery is taking to maintain the health of players, staff, and the public.

  • On April 7, The Education Lottery stopped advertising campaigns for the month as to not influence anyone into taking unnecessary trips to stores to buy a lottery ticket.
  • On March 23, The Education lottery closed all six claim centers to the public.
  • On March 19, the entity stopped visits by sales representatives to all lottery retail locations.
  • On March 12, lottery employees began working remotely.

“We encourage people to have a budget and only spend their entertainment money, their discretionary income on lottery tickets. During these difficult times, we understand people are going to be looking at their budgets real closely and we don’t want people spending money on that they need for rent, mortgage, food, or gas on lottery tickets. The lottery is supposed to be for fun and the lottery is also not a way to solve a financial problem so if you did lose a job if your hours have been reduced the lottery is not a way to make that up,” Denton said.

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