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NC lottery addiction hotline gets different callers than planned

North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: NC lottery addiction hotline gets different callers than planned

Many callers to the toll-free problem gambling hot line set up for North Carolina's new lottery have sought help of another kind.

"We've gotten a lot of calls from people who either don't understand how to play the game or why they didn't win," said Smith Worth, who oversees the help line for the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Only about 15 percent to 20 percent of the 600 to 700 callers to the help line since the North Carolina Education Lottery began last Thursday sought information about gambling addictions or counseling, Smith said Tuesday.

There's a separate phone number that lottery players can call to get information on how to redeem winning tickets and regional office locations. But that number isn't listed on the back of tickets where the one for gambling addiction help appears. That's probably why people looking to get their jackpots still are calling, Smith said.

Similar issues exist with problem gambling lines for older lotteries. A Virginia lottery spokeswoman said last summer that the vast majority of calls its help line receives has nothing to do with problem gambling, but more about whether they're going to collect a big check.

"They are actually calling for winning numbers," spokeswoman Jill Vaughan said in August.

Callers to North Carolina's problem gambling line are sent a packet of information designed to help them determine whether they or family members are in need of further assistance. Using an expected $1 million from the lottery commission, the department also will organize a statewide system of counselors and mental health professionals to treat problem gamblers and pay for the service for some patients.

During its first five days in existence, North Carolina's new lottery generated more than $24 million in ticket sales, about $1 million less than what lottery chief Tom Shaheen had hoped to see.

Shaheen didn't know of any particular reason for missing his $25 million target, except maybe Monday's rainstorms, and said he considered these early days a "very huge successful startup."

While comparisons to other states are difficult to make, sales are on par with those of other startup lotteries, said Charles Sanders, chairman of the North Carolina Education Lottery commission. He pointed out that the lottery started six days earlier than the commission had planned, so any ticket sales now are beyond their expectations.

"We're very pleased with what we have produced so far," Sanders said.

About $8.4 million from ticket sales will be set aside for prekindergarten, the public schools and scholarships, since state law requires that at least 35 percent of revenues go to education. Nearly $11.5 million in prizes have been redeemed, a lottery spokeswoman said.

The $5 "Carolina Cash" tickets have generated the most revenues at $7.5 million through Monday, a lottery news release said. Two people had won the game's 10 top prizes of $100,000 as of Tuesday.

More than 5,000 retailers are selling four different kinds of lottery tickets, though improper wiring or machine malfunctions at times have kept some places from selling tickets, Shaheen said. Two new instant games could be released as early as next week, adding to the four already on shelves, he said.

Once the initial excitement ebbs, he said, "we're going to need to get more products out on the street." The lottery could release a couple of new games every two to three weeks and have more than 30 games in place in the next year, Shaheen said.

The lottery commission now is working toward starting up to offer the Powerball multistate numbers game by May 30.

The North Carolina Lottery's toll free problem gambling help line is (877) 718-5543. The player hot line is (877) 962-7529.

AP

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13 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by NCPicks.
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United States
Member #33085
February 18, 2006
733 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 5, 2006, 10:18 am - IP Logged

ROFL!  Enough said!

    Avatar

    United States
    Member #26469
    November 18, 2005
    160 Posts
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    Posted: April 5, 2006, 11:33 am - IP Logged

    My kinda problem,I won so much that I need to know where to collect all my cash.I hope it happens soon.

      LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
      Tennessee
      United States
      Member #7853
      October 15, 2004
      11334 Posts
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      Posted: April 5, 2006, 2:37 pm - IP Logged

      good luck NCPicks.....

        LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
        Tennessee
        United States
        Member #7853
        October 15, 2004
        11334 Posts
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        Posted: April 5, 2006, 2:38 pm - IP Logged

        i'll be glad when they add some numbers games........

          Avatar
          Indiana
          United States
          Member #29196
          December 29, 2005
          280 Posts
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          Posted: April 5, 2006, 8:40 pm - IP Logged

          They started 6 days early and still missed their projected sales target?  In any other business if you missed your projected target by $1 million in sales you'd have to answer for it.  But the staff of the N.C. lottery all got big bonuses!

          Apparently it's better to work for the lottery than to play it.

          Jim 

           


          Money frees you from doing things you dislike.  Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.  - Groucho Marx

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #26469
            November 18, 2005
            160 Posts
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            Posted: April 5, 2006, 9:52 pm - IP Logged

            You misunderstand UJ.The lottery set a goal of 25 million in sales in five days.It doesn't matter when they started.They only counted the first five days.The lottery was supposed to start on April 6.The NCEL got the games going a week early,that's the only difference.Not bad for a new start-up.Like a lot of people,I'm waiting for the Powerball to start.The lottery commission announced that due to the successful start they would add more scratch offs around the middle of April.

              dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

              United States
              Member #2338
              September 17, 2003
              2063 Posts
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              Posted: April 6, 2006, 9:38 am - IP Logged

              So have any of the numbers the addiction line given out actually win?

                Avatar

                United States
                Member #26469
                November 18, 2005
                160 Posts
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                Posted: April 6, 2006, 12:50 pm - IP Logged

                Sure,40 people won the Powerball jackpot last night,duh!

                  Avatar
                  Bethesda, Maryland
                  United States
                  Member #16901
                  June 6, 2005
                  446 Posts
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                  Posted: April 6, 2006, 7:04 pm - IP Logged

                  So have any of the numbers the addiction line given out actually win?

                  4/6/2006

                  LOLOLOLOLOOL........PLEEEEZZZZZ....LOLOLOLOL.....LOVIN IT....

                    Avatar
                    Bethesda, Maryland
                    United States
                    Member #16901
                    June 6, 2005
                    446 Posts
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                    Posted: April 6, 2006, 7:07 pm - IP Logged

                    4/6/2006

                    THIS IS SOOOOO ......LOLOLOLOLOLOL.....I can just imagine what the calls on the gambling help hotline sound like.......all those people....

                    "I need your help to win"

                    "Gimme the winning numbers"....

                    lolololoololololol.......I 've got a list, but there isn't enough room to put them all down...lolololol

                      Avatar
                      Indiana
                      United States
                      Member #29196
                      December 29, 2005
                      280 Posts
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                      Posted: April 6, 2006, 7:56 pm - IP Logged

                      OK...I did misunderstand.  But the bottom line remains they missed their target by a million dollars and still got paid hefty bonuses.  Maybe I'm making too much out of a little thing.  But I don't like to see the lottery execs winning more money than the players.

                      Jim 


                      Money frees you from doing things you dislike.  Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.  - Groucho Marx

                        Uff Da!'s avatar - InCelebration 001.jpg
                        Washington State
                        United States
                        Member #33973
                        February 26, 2006
                        345 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: April 6, 2006, 9:54 pm - IP Logged

                        OK...I did misunderstand.  But the bottom line remains they missed their target by a million dollars and still got paid hefty bonuses.  Maybe I'm making too much out of a little thing.  But I don't like to see the lottery execs winning more money than the players.

                        Jim 

                        My understanding is that by getting started six days early, they had $24 million more in sales than they would have had if they'd just met the deadline.  Thus, the bonus.  The state is millions ahead.

                          Avatar

                          United States
                          Member #26469
                          November 18, 2005
                          160 Posts
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                          Posted: April 7, 2006, 11:16 am - IP Logged

                          You are correct Uff Da.The state has 24 million more in sales at this point in time than it would have had.

                          Of course,who knows how much they would have it they didn't have to wait 20 years to get the lottery in the first place.