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 $125.6 million.

The transfer, made today, brings the total amount earned for education and the state since the lottery started eight years ago to more than $3.3 billion. The new transfer, combined with the ones made in October and January, brings the total so far this year to $404 million.

“The lottery’s sole mission is to sell tickets to raise money for education,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “The dollars raised as people play our games and win prizes are making a difference across the state. They help pay teachers’ salaries. They help build and repair schools. They give four-year-olds a seat in academic preschools. And they help students cover the costs of going to college.”

The fiscal year 2014 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. On an annual basis, education funds raised by the lottery equate to about 4 percent of overall General Fund appropriations for public education.

Legislators decide how lottery dollars are used and how they are allocated. Based on the FY14 budget, 45.8 percent of the money will go to teacher salaries in grades K-3, 20.8 percent to counties for school construction or repair projects, 15.7 percent to the prekindergarten program for at-risk four-year-olds called N.C. Pre-K, 6.3 percent for college scholarships based on financial need, 9 percent for the UNC Need-Based Grant program, and 2.4 percent for digital learning.