RALEIGH -- Lottery numbers in North Carolina continue to be on the rise. Last year contributing over $520 million into education in the state. But when compared to neighboring states, North Carolina makes substantially less in profits per capita.
“I am determined from North Carolina, to hit these numbers,” says Alice Garland, executive director of the NC Education Lottery. “I mean Virginia is 26 years old, they are older than Georgia. I am determined we are going to hit these numbers way before Georgia and Virginia did.”
Lawmakers questioned the reason for the lower proceeds.
“When I go down to Virginia, I notice that they are substantially higher in their advertising and produce a pretty significant difference in their operating profits,” says Sen. Rick Gunn, a Alamance County Republican.
Lottery officials say advertising does have a lot to do with sales.
“A lot of that goes to marketing, our budget's restrictive and what we can say in our ads is restrictive,” says Garland.
“They would get more people to gamble,” says Rep. Paul Stam, the House Speaker Pro-tem. “But why do you want to hoo-doo your own citizens?”
But some lottery opponents say they believe lottery advertising is deceptive, and that is what should be changed not how much money is given toward.
“You could have a lottery that's honest and bring in about 400 million a year,” says Stam. “Or you could have a lottery that is dishonest and bring in about 500 million. So why not just bring in the 400 million.”
Meanwhile, lottery proceeds are likely to be on the rise again this year. That is following the record jackpot for Powerball earlier this year, which already exceeded proceed expectations from that game, as well as how much is contributed to the education fund.