North Carolina's newly adopted lottery will make a $50 million contribution to the state's Education Lottery Fund on Wednesday — the first transfer since the inception of scratch-off games three months ago.
"This is a historical event for education in North Carolina," said Tom Shaheen, the state's lottery chief.
The lottery will make its next transfer in October, after the first quarter of the next fiscal year. As of Monday, the "education lottery" had sold more than $216 million instant-win and Powerball tickets.
But the $50 million contribution may not funnel directly into state classrooms. Lottery officials and state lawmakers said the first transfer will likely go to establish a reserve fund in case the lottery falls short of its revenue expectations.
Gov. Mike Easley and state legislators originally budgeted $425 million for education programs from the lottery, but the lottery commission passed a budget two weeks ago that anticipated only a $402 million contribution.