North Carolina lottery money helps solve education needs in state

July 24, 2012 by  

The WRAL Investigates team recently uncovered that the Lottery for North Carolina Education in Raleigh has contributed between four and five percent of the overall school budget for the year, countering a belief that some may have had that the money raised by the Lottery has benefited the state rather than provided an education lifeline. The Lottery, however, is no doubt using flyer printing to make residents in the state rest assured that the Lottery still plays an important role in funding education and lawmakers are using additional means to insure that education in the state is properly funded.

Although the Lottery Act passed in 2005 prohibited lawmakers from supplanting or replacing lottery dollars to help balance the state budget, the General Assembly passed another bill that same year that eliminated that language and enabled them to move money around in order to meet the requirements of the education and the state budget.

When the Lottery Act was first passed, the formula for distribution of the funds was 35% to education, 50% to prizes, 8% administrative costs and 7% to compensate retailers. The formula was changed earlier this year to 29% to education, 60% to prizes and 4% to administration with the amount to retailers remaining the same. According to Van Denton, a spokesperson for the lottery, although the percentage for education has dropped, the actual amount of funding has increased as the amount of money people spend on the lottery is soaring.

The investigation also revealed that a gap in medical care had been filled by Lottery funding.