Thousands of retailers are getting ready to sell North Carolina lottery tickets. But it won't just be convenience stores and supermarkets.
The Paper Doll Lounge, a Charlotte strip club, will be offering the lottery along with its lap dances.
"We're the only (strip) club that has it," said Chris Falls, owner of the Paper Doll Lounge. "And I also have something the convenience stores don't."
Any business in the state can apply to sell tickets for the game that begins March 30, with the only restriction being that lottery sales cannot be an operation's sole business.
The Paper Doll, which bills itself on a hot-pink awning as "The Grand Daddy" of Charlotte strip clubs, will sell lottery tickets from the club's entrance booth.
Falls expects other strip clubs will be quick to add lottery sales once the games get going.
"It's another way to make money," he said.
The state is not tracking how many adult-oriented businesses are selling tickets, said Alice Garland, the lottery's deputy executive director.
An adult-oriented shop in Kinston also plans to sell tickets — alongside its adult movies, novelties and games.
Fun-N-Stuff owner Maurice Jackson noted that lottery players need to be 18, the same minimum age for entering his store. Plus, he said, a share of lottery revenues are going to education.
There will even be tickets sold at Financial Freedom Planners, a north Charlotte business that helps clients secure mortgages and eliminate debt.
Visla Ealy, a broker at Financial Freedom Planners, said it's not ironic to have the tickets sold at her workplace.
"Someone's long-term financial gain or prosperity could be funded by the lottery," she said Wednesday, six days before scratch-off tickets will be available for the first time.
Ealy doesn't see it as promoting gambling — just another way to gain business.
"If they didn't buy them here, they'd buy them somewhere else," she said.
Another unique lottery vendor is the Sleep Time Mattress Center in Gaston County. Its reason for selling tickets? Everybody else is.
Every retailer had to apply for a license and pass a background check first. State officials checked for any criminal history, and they made certain that tax payments were up to date.
"It was not difficult; we didn't even know it was done," said Karamjit Kaur of Cigarettes and More, a business located off Pineville-Matthews Road in south Charlotte.
Retailers will get a 7 percent commission on tickets sold in their store. Lottery sales are beginning with scratch-off tickets, followed by Powerball on May 30 and state numbers games this fall.