The North Carolina Education Lottery turns seven months old next week, and its players continue to try and cash in.
On Oct. 6, the Carolina Pick 3, a game that has a top prize of $500 and operates similarly to Powerball but gives players a better chance to win, was released. On Friday, the Carolina Cash 5 game will be released.
Tracy Montgomery, a cashier at Spinx convenience store in Kinston, said lottery sales have skyrocketed since the release of the Pick 3 game.
"We've sold more Pick 3 than we have of scratch-off tickets," said Montgomery. "It's really taken over."
Spinx manager Kim Davis said her store has sold 10 $500 tickets. She said she expects sales to continue to rise when Cash 5 is released.
Drawings for Pick 3 are held nightly at 11:20 p.m. on WITN-Ch. 7, and all North Carolina lottery results are available to view on Lottery Post (http://www.lotterypost.com/) minutes after the drawing.
According to lottery officials, more than 5,800 retailers across the state sell Pick 3 and will sell Cash 5. About 190 retailers are unable to sell the newest tickets because their employees did not attend training.
NCEL executive director Tom Shaheen expects the new games to contribute significantly to the state's education.
"We expect 'Carolina Pick 3' along with 'Carolina Cash 5' to add several million dollars in sales each week, helping us reach our goal to raise money for education," Shaheen said in a release.