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RALEIGH, NC (NC EDUCATION LOTTERY) — Mega Millions players trying their luck at the biggest jackpot ever led to the N.C. Education Lottery on its sixth anniversary recording its highest day of sales ever. Sales of Mega Millions tickets Friday, added to those for all 19 drawings that occurred during the jackpot’s climb to $640 million, resulted in an estimated $12.9 million extra for education programs in North Carolina.

“Lots of North Carolinians had fun this week dreaming of winning that jackpot on Friday and we were glad to see four tickets in our state produce wins of a quarter of a million dollars,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the Education Lottery. “The biggest winner, however, was education because we’ll raise a lot more money this year for teacher salaries, school construction, college scholarships and our pre-k programs.”

Sales for those 19 drawings, recorded between Jan. 25 and March 30, were $34 million for the Mega Million game alone. During those drawings, more than 735,000 tickets in North Carolina won prizes ranging from $2 to $1 million, totaling $8.1 million. Those sales also boosted the local economy as lottery retailers recorded $2.3 million in lottery commissions. The Education Lottery set a new record for a single day of ticket sales on Friday, the sixth anniversary of the start of the lottery on March 30, 2006. The new record is $17,660,273, up $8.7 million from the previous record of $8.8 million set on March 12, 2008. Mega Millions ticket sales on Friday accounted for $12.3 million of all the day’s sales.

In Friday’s Mega Millions drawing, tickets sold in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland all matched the winning jackpot numbers to split the $640 million jackpot. In North Carolina, there were 369,594 winning tickets totaling $3 million in prizes. Four tickets sold in North Carolina beat odds of 1 in 3.9 million to match all five white balls and win $250,000 each. The lucky tickets were purchased at the Piggly Wiggly on Richlands Highway in Jacksonville, the Kroger on Six Forks Road in Raleigh, the Swift Mart on Marshburn Road in Wendell, and the Seminole Mart on U.S. 421 North in Broadway. The winners have 180 days to come to lottery headquarters in Raleigh to claim their prize.

Ten other tickets sold in the state matched the numbers on four of the five white balls plus the number on the Mega Ball to win $10,000 each. Two other tickets matched numbers of four white balls plus the Mega Ball and are valued at $30,000 because they were $2 Megaplier tickets. The Megaplier number drawn on Friday was the No. 3 so the initial $10,000 win was multiplied by three.

By law, lottery funds pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, need-based college scholarships and prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds. To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.2 billion for these initiatives statewide.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest757

    It’s just more money that our beloved governor can get her greedy little fingers one..

  • Charles Walters

    If the schools get all this money “by law”, then how come Raleigh has cut the amount the schools get by 14% or more every year since the lottery has been in the state. I want to know who freaking pocket it has been going in because it sure as hell is not going into the teachers pay or maintaining the schools, because they are falling apart. It also is not going into better computers for the classrooms or improving what is taught, so our children get a quality education. Elected officals bi*ch and promise better education while getting elected, but as soon as they are in office they forget the schols even exist.

  • SurfCityTom

    have followed previous posts, the law is rather specific as to how the funds can be used.

    Sadly, there is nothing in the law which prevents the Governor, or her predecessor, from “borrowing” funds to balance other areas of the state budget.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    You can check most states with a lottery and you will find that a few years after the lottery comes in, while people are still playing, the legislature cuts the allocation for education in the general budget. After all – the schools are getting millions from the lottery. They keep cutting for several more years.

    Then, as lottery sales peak and start to decline, schools get less money from the lottery. The lottery has to spend more to promote and advertise the lottery. (HOW many scratch-off games do we have now?)

    But the money that used to be in the general budget for education is now funding other things, so the legislature can’t increase general budget money for education because it’s not there any more.

    It’s a proven recipe for disaster. States like New York and California went down the path many years ago, but we were late to the lottery game. We’re just starting to wake up…

  • Wondering Why

    This money does not go where it is promised. Last week I bought candy bar from a neighborhood child that had to sell them so Clarkton School of Discovery could buy copy paper.


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