Where The Money Goes

beneficiary teacher

The lottery's mission is to offer fun and fair games to players and raise money to support education in our state. Since 2006, that has added up to more than $5.2 billion for education.

Lottery funds are a small but important part of the state money to support education in North Carolina. In all, $.95 of every dollar spent on a lottery ticket is returned to the state in the form of prizes, commissions and earnings for education.

Education Programs Receiving Lottery Dollars

Lottery funds have always supported specific education initiatives in all North Carolina counties. Each year in the state budget, our legislature can adjust how lottery dollars are allocated. Changes for the fiscal year 2018 budget went into effect on July 1, 2017.

"Receiving the NCEL scholarship will help me cross the finish line in a lifelong goal. This 33-year-old mother of two is so thankful for this chance you have given me."
- Leah Cameron, a math and secondary education
major at UNC-Charlotte who hopes to become,
a high school athletic director one day.

See How Your County Has Benefited

To see how lottery funds have benefited education in your community, click on the map below. You can see how much money your county has received and the programs that have been funded.

Lottery Raises Money For A Good Cause

It’s good to know that all of the earnings of the North Carolina Education Lottery go to education and that earnings for education have increased each year. Earnings have grown because more and more people enjoy playing the lottery and winning prizes. People play lotteries to win prizes and to help raise money for good causes. This year, for every dollar you spent on a lottery game, about a quarter will go to support important education programs in North Carolina.

Earnings To Education

Earnings to Education

“I appreciate what the lottery does for education and I think about it a lot. It means a lot that when people buy tickets, someone down the street could get an education from it.”
- Michael Pepper of Statesville
Lottery player who won $1 million playing Powerball.
He used part of his winnings to pay off his wife’s student loans.

Distribution of Revenue Chart

Annual Contributions to Education

Each year, the Fiscal Research Division of the N.C. General Assembly provides a report that summarizes how lottery funds were distributed to education programs in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. The NCEL uses the report to produce beneficiary brochures and to update county information on the interactive map (above).

History of Lottery Fund Assignment

Each year in the state budget, our legislature can adjust which programs receive funds raised by the lottery. This is an overview of how the assignment formula has changed over time.