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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A huge jackpot last month helped the North Carolina Education Lottery record its highest quarterly ticket sales ever and its largest cash transfer for education in the lottery’s history.

The lottery announced Thursday it had transferred another $127 million earmarked for state and local education initiatives.

Lottery executive director Alice Garland attributed the highest quarterly payment ever to public education to the Mega Millions jackpot that ultimately reached $640 million in late March. The lottery generated a record $445 million in sales for the three months ending March 31.

The lottery says it now expects to transfer $450 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, about $25 million more than the original estimate. Those extra proceeds would go to counties for school construction and repairs.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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