Lottery officials say North Carolina's newest game sold more tickets than expected this weekend.
Carolina Pick 3 launched Friday with its first drawing. Those who know the pick 'em games were fired up to see the new game start last week.
"It gives you more opportunity to win, plus it gives you the opportunity to spend more money, put it back into the state and back into the schools," lottery player Shawn James said.
More money was spent than lottery officials expected. Through Sunday, sales topped $1 million and paid out nearly a half million in prizes to more than 5000 players.
The lottery will launch another pick 'em style game, Carolina Cash 5, on October 27. Retailers and lottery officials hope this will pick up sales after a slow summer.
"The first real measuring stick starts July 1, and the first three months are a little slow because people are on vacation and school starts and have other expenses to worry about," NC Education Lottery Executive Director Tom Shaheen said.
Shaheen says the two pick 'em style games will add about $5 million a week and will begin a busy season for the lottery.
"We introduced the Carolina Hurricane ticket last week, the $5 ticket. We introduced Pick 3 on Friday and then Carolina Cash 5 on October 27, then October 31, two of our four holiday games are going out, then November 7, the other two are going out," Shaheen added.
He hopes a lot of people will use those holiday tickets as stocking stuffers to help make up for the slow summer.