The N.C. Education Lottery earned more than half a billion dollars for education programs in fiscal year 2014, the most money ever in a single year.
As the lottery ended its fiscal year on Monday, preliminary results show the lottery set new records for sales and for earnings. Based on unaudited results, lottery ticket sales totaled $1.84 billion, up 8.8 percent. Earnings from those sales - the lottery’s profits - totaled $500.4 million, up 4.6 percent from the previous year.
“Eight years of increased sales and earnings is a record any business would be proud of,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “This year, thanks to North Carolinians enjoying chances to win prizes, the lottery also raised more money than ever before. These are dollars that wouldn’t be available otherwise and they are making a difference in education programs all across the state.”
Final transfers of lottery revenues to the state in June brought the lottery’s total contribution since inception to $3.4 billion.
Legislators decide how lottery proceeds are used. Most of the money raised in FY14 year went to the education programs that the lottery serves. The state budget allocated lottery proceeds to the following programs:
• Teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, $220.6 million
• School construction and repairs, $100 million
• College scholarships and grants based on financial need, including $30.4 million for N.C. Education Lottery Scholarships and $43.3 million to the UNC Need-Based Grant Program
• N.C. Pre-K program, $75.5 million to provide at-risk four-year-olds a year in an academic pre-school. Lottery dollars made up 54 percent of the program’s funds, providing Pre-K slots to more than 14,000 four-year-olds.
• Digital learning, $11.9 million to provide grants to schools to support the transition to digital learning.
The remaining lottery proceeds earned in FY14 will be allocated by legislators in the new state budget for fiscal year 2015.