The N.C. Education Lottery has made its third transfer of lottery dollars to the state for this fiscal year, providing to the education programs that it serves an additional $120.6 million.

The transfer, made today, brings the total amount earned for education and the state since the lottery started seven years ago to more than $2.8 billion. The new transfer, combined with the ones made in October and January, brings the total so far this year to $359 million.

“Across the state, people are having fun every day playing lottery games and winning prizes,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “The result is additional money that wouldn’t be there otherwise to serve good causes. School systems get additional dollars for teachers. Counties get money to help build and repair schools. More four-year-olds can attend an academic preschool. And students at state universities and community colleges get help with the costs of going to college.”

This FY13 budget, as approved by the N.C. General Assembly, allocates all of the lottery’s proceeds to education programs. Once the transfer is made, the money is available to help meet the needs of education programs this year.

Legislators decide how lottery dollars are used and how they are allocated. Based on the state budget for fiscal year 2013, 50 percent of the money will go to teacher salaries in grades K-3, 22.7 percent to counties for school construction or repair projects, 14.3 percent to the prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds called N.C. Pre-K, 6.9 percent for college scholarships based on financial need, 3.7 percent to local school systems, and 2.4 percent for the UNC Need-Based Grant program.