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Lottery ticket sales increased among poor counties

READ MORE: Lottery ticket sales increased among poor counties
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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Columbus county is among the 20 poorest counties in North Carolina. According to a recent investigation by the North Carolina Policy Watch, Columbus county also has one of the highest sales in lottery tickets.

With 22 percent of people living below the poverty level, Columbus county's lottery sales for the 2009-2010 fiscal year totals enough money for every adult to spend $200 on lottery tickets.

Joanne Simmons cashiers at the County Line Quick Stop. She says some people spend $50-$100 on lottery tickets everyday.

"Two times a day," Simmons says. "They'll come in every morning and buy 50 and then they'll come in the evening and buy 50 more."

Carolyn Grady bough at least seven tickets a day since the North Carolina Education lottery started in 2005. She has two jobs but says she hopes that all her money goes towards a good cause.

"I have three grandkids and they say it's for the education," Grady says. "All three of them are in school, so I'm hoping that the money I'm spending will go towards the school system.

Since 2005, the lottery has turned over more than $1 billion to state education programs. Initially 35 percent of the lottery sales went to education, but now that number has dropped to 29 percent.

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