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N.C. Lottery chief adding new games to overcome revenue shortfall

North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: N.C. Lottery chief adding new games to overcome revenue shortfall

The head of the N.C. Education Lottery Tuesday urged patience for critics who say the games have fallen short of their first-year sales goal.

Executive Director Tom Shaheen said he hopes to spark sales this spring with two new games and a new twist on a third.

Lottery sales are expected to miss their $1.2 billion goal by $200 million.

"Obviously I'm in a business to raise money, and I want to raise as much as we can," Shaheen said after a Charlotte luncheon. "But to raise $1 billion the first year is a big accomplishment."

Speaking to about 50 people at the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club luncheon near SouthPark, Shaheen described how he got the lottery up and running in three months and 25 days. Players have spent more than $700 million on the lottery since it started March 30.

Overall, the games are expected to generate $350 million for education in its first year. They've brought at least $9 million to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

"We've been hugely successful," Shaheen told the group.

But scratch-off sales, which drive revenues, have fallen steadily since July, from $52 million that month to less than $37 million in December. Shaheen has blamed that on a natural drop in interest as well as competition from games in every border state.

Lottery commissioner Jim Woodward of Charlotte said the initial goals were "probably unrealistic."

"I don't really see this failing to meet early estimates as evidence of any underlying problem," Woodward, a former UNC Charlotte chancellor, said Tuesday in a phone interview. "This is just the nature of any new business. ... I would not change anything we've done over the last year."

Shaheen hopes to spur sales with new games this spring:

  • A raffle game: Only about 500,000 numbers would be available. Each might sell for $20. There would be four $1 million prizes and other smaller ones. If commissioners approve the game next month, it could start in May. Winners would be drawn in July.
  • A NASCAR game: A race-themed scratch-off game could start in March. South Carolina ran a similar game in 2005.
  • Powerball multiplier: For an extra dollar, players in North Carolina and other Powerball states can get an extra number that would multiply many prizes by that figure. Now, the highest multiplier is "5." For a few weeks this spring, it will be "10."

"Ideally, lotteries have a lot of room for growth," Shaheen said. "It's just a matter of getting the right mix of products out there."

Woodward isn't worried.

"I've got great confidence in Shaheen," he said. "Everything he's done since he came to North Carolina indicates that we hired a very good CEO. Tom Shaheen knows his business (and) knows how to operate it correctly."

Charlotte Observer

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16 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by Kidzmom.
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LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
Tennessee
United States
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Posted: February 1, 2007, 2:21 am - IP Logged

gotta get that pick 4 going.i'd love to play that although that remains to be seen....

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    Coastal Georgia
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    Posted: February 1, 2007, 8:27 am - IP Logged

    Also increase the payouts on instant games.
    It's widely known that NC instant games payout % are lower than whale dung.

     

                                   

                  

     

     


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      Posted: February 1, 2007, 9:52 am - IP Logged

      Also increase the payouts on instant games.
      It's widely known that NC instant games payout % are lower than whale dung.

      1. North Carolina doesn't have PowerPlay?

      2. Why isn't NC getting Hot Lotto (at least not now?) I heard South Carolina was developing a "Carolina Plus 6".

      BTW there are lawmakers in NY who want to cut the payout on scratch games to 40%. NC's pay 52%.

        NBey6's avatar - pyramid
        $$ Notaphilist $$

        United States
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        April 9, 2004
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        Posted: February 1, 2007, 10:31 am - IP Logged

        1. North Carolina doesn't have PowerPlay?

        2. Why isn't NC getting Hot Lotto (at least not now?) I heard South Carolina was developing a "Carolina Plus 6".

        BTW there are lawmakers in NY who want to cut the payout on scratch games to 40%. NC's pay 52%.

        1. North Carolina does have PowerPlay.
        2. New York would be making a grave mistake if they take the payout to 40%, unless they want to lose money.

        I am a money magnet. 

        12062016

         Clover Thumbs Up 


         

          NBey6's avatar - pyramid
          $$ Notaphilist $$

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          Posted: February 1, 2007, 10:33 am - IP Logged

          gotta get that pick 4 going.i'd love to play that although that remains to be seen....

          You got that right. Online games are the way to go, so they had better add Pick 4 by September 2007.

          I am a money magnet. 

          12062016

           Clover Thumbs Up 


           


            United States
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            Posted: February 1, 2007, 10:38 am - IP Logged
            1. North Carolina does have PowerPlay.
            2. New York would be making a grave mistake if they take the payout to 40%, unless they want to lose money.

            According to the article, the Powerplay multiplier will come to NC this spring. The multiplier is called PowerPlay. Maybe they meant to say just the 10x will be available this spring.

            NY Blotto (currently 6/59) has always paid out 40%, and players have gradually taken notice. Imagine a flash cut from 65% to 40% on scratches.

              Avatar

              United States
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              July 11, 2003
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              Posted: February 1, 2007, 2:43 pm - IP Logged

              According to the article, the Powerplay multiplier will come to NC this spring. The multiplier is called PowerPlay. Maybe they meant to say just the 10x will be available this spring.

              NY Blotto (currently 6/59) has always paid out 40%, and players have gradually taken notice. Imagine a flash cut from 65% to 40% on scratches.

              Better write a open letter to the legislature about that.

              (insert signature here)

                Avatar

                United States
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                February 23, 2004
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                Posted: February 1, 2007, 9:13 pm - IP Logged

                I'm with you on that.   I emailed NC Lottery to request the 4 digit game.  The reply was that If the game would be considered, it would be within the next Fiscal year, which my thinking is,  after July '07.  Maybe if more folk would email NC Lottery, if would help to really get it started in the next Fiscal year.

                  Pick3forSC's avatar - Lottery-017.jpg
                  North Carolina (West of Charlotte)
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                  April 28, 2003
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                  Posted: February 1, 2007, 10:02 pm - IP Logged

                  The whole Poweplay thing has me stumped... We already have that!

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                    charlotte
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                    September 20, 2006
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                    Posted: February 2, 2007, 7:40 am - IP Logged

                    SOMEONE NEED TO: GET a grip on stores in nc that are closing the lottery to early. if they dont want to sell tickets , and or scratch tickets up until state requirement times, then dont sell at all! pineville nc. shell gas station,and others. shut them down! they close lottery at 9:30pm everynight.

                      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                      Chief Bottle Washer
                      New Jersey
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                      Posted: February 2, 2007, 8:29 am - IP Logged

                      1. North Carolina doesn't have PowerPlay?

                      2. Why isn't NC getting Hot Lotto (at least not now?) I heard South Carolina was developing a "Carolina Plus 6".

                      BTW there are lawmakers in NY who want to cut the payout on scratch games to 40%. NC's pay 52%.

                      Maybe they don't want Hot Lotto because it is now a computerized drawing, and nobody likes that.  Maybe if MUSL went back to ball drawings they could make a big event of it, and other states (and players) would be interested.

                       

                      Check the State Lottery Report Card
                      What grade did your lottery earn?

                       

                      Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                      Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                        Chief Bottle Washer
                        New Jersey
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                        Posted: February 2, 2007, 8:29 am - IP Logged

                        The whole Poweplay thing has me stumped... We already have that!

                        Read it again: they are talking about multiplying by up to 10 times.  Nobody does that currently.

                         

                        Check the State Lottery Report Card
                        What grade did your lottery earn?

                         

                        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                          wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

                          United States
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                          May 10, 2005
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                          Posted: February 2, 2007, 9:28 am - IP Logged

                          Read it again: they are talking about multiplying by up to 10 times.  Nobody does that currently.

                          They said 'for a few weeks'. Didn't they also do that last year? They being all Powerball states.

                            GIDDYUP's avatar - cls want_to_buy.jpg
                            Dunn / Kinston North Carolina
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                            September 17, 2006
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                            Posted: February 2, 2007, 11:05 am - IP Logged

                            The whole Poweplay thing has me stumped... We already have that!

                            Not on Cash 5 ... SC does so that's where I play that!

                            Can't lose for winning Banana