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Coronavirus impacting North Carolina lottery sales

Apr 17, 2020, 12:06 pm

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The North Carolina Education Lottery has increased sales — which climbed to $2.6 billion in 2018, according to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries — every year since it was established in 2005.

A global health crisis could change that.

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb across North Carolina and Gov. Roy Cooper weighs extending a statewide stay-at-home order, the lottery is experiencing a marked decrease in players.

That's in part by design, officials say.

"Here in North Carolina, just like many other businesses, we are putting safety and public health first and making adjustments in our business operations with that in mind," N.C. Education Lottery spokesperson Van Denton told McClatchy News.

Changing operations

The lottery suspended all marketing and advertising campaigns starting April 7 to keep people from making "an unnecessary trip to a store just to buy a lottery ticket," according to a news release.

Before that, they closed six claim centers in Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh and Wilmington.

Essential employees are still going to work at the lottery headquarters in Raleigh — but everyone else was sent home to work remotely starting March 12, the news release states.

Players who win $599 or less can pick up their prizes in-store, officials said.

"Lottery tickets with prizes of $600 or more should be signed and secured safely," according to the release. "Winners will have 30 days after the state lifts its stay-at-home order to claim prizes on those tickets if they expire before then."

They can also mail in their claims, Denton said. But officials warned there could processing delays for those mailed.

By the numbers

Lottery sales and subsequent contributions to education were "running ahead of projections overall through (the) end of February," Denton told McClatchy.

According to data collected by The Raleigh News & Observer, ticket sales increased for the month of March.

Then COVID-19 hit.

Lottery officials expect to lose $131.4 million in sales for the 2020 fiscal year, which runs from July 2019 to June 2020, according to a report made to the Lottery Commission during its April 7 meeting.

That means similar losses for education, data show.

Denton said the lottery projects the total amount raised for education this year will be about $26.8 million less than expected.

"That could change depending on what happens in May and June with our 'Stay At Home' guidelines and how consumers adjust their budgets based on challenging economic times for many," he said.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, officials said more than $700 million in lottery funds were given to education.

The total contribution for the 2019-2020 fiscal year is estimated to be around $667 million, according to the report.

It's not immediately clear how that will impact some of the education projects that traditionally receive lottery funding — such as pre-K programs, school construction and college scholarships.

"The lottery does not decide how the money it raises is used," Denton said. "It will be up to the governor to manage the state's budget to decide how any shortfall would impact the education programs this fiscal year."

Uncharted territory

There is a lottery reserve fund with about $55 million sitting in it, Denton told McClatchy. But it's up to the state how and when that's used.

When the recession hit in 2009, then-Gov. Bev Perdue "diverted $50 million in lottery proceeds to the General Fund to make up for a budget shortfall," EducationNC reported.

People were angry there was nothing in place "safeguarding lottery funds for strictly educational purposes," according to EducationNC. Perdue said it was justified given that half of the General Fund goes to education.

But things are different this time, Denton said.

"Lottery ticket sales in North Carolina continued to grow during the last recession," he told McClatchy. "I don't believe any U.S. lottery has faced a time like this before."

Charlotte Observer

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21 comments. Last comment 2 months ago by lottologix.
Page 1 of 2
Avatar
Simpsonville
United States
Member #163184
January 22, 2015
2199 Posts
Online
Posted: April 17, 2020, 12:31 pm - IP Logged

No on-line sales, right?

    partlycloudy07's avatar - father
    North Carolina
    United States
    Member #163492
    February 1, 2015
    2565 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: April 17, 2020, 4:06 pm - IP Logged

    http://wlos.com/news/local/north-carolina-education-lottery-raises-record-setting-708-million-for-education

     

    maybe they should give back the healthy raises and bonuses they gave themselves last year .I know they did b/c I know some lottery workers ...they can say what they want drop in a few feel good stories but you still have children here with no books for the classrooms , schools in disrepair , teachers having to provide for children out of their own money , among other reasons and btw just b/c they build one or two schools big deal concentrate on your immediate problems with the schools that you do have. 

     

    Cashiers are tired of people going in and out to play in the store , crowding around each other to talk about numbers , just go in the store with the papers filled out,

    and try to play day and night . 

     

    Sales are down b/c they keep bringing repeats in pick 3 and 4 people get tired of spending money on nothing but repeats that just came out nothing more than that and some people have lost their job but not so much as the repeats that they keep bringing. 

     

    Close it down NC if you want players will not care as much as you think we will some of us may need that break ROFL

    “You cannot solve a problem at the same level it was created" .......Albert Einstein

     

    Throw it against the wall and see if it sticks (every time I send a deal to the banker ROFL

      "Wherever there is number, there is beauty." -- Proclus

    visit my blog 

     

    Pick 4 pets 1917 , 1921, 5509 , 1970

      Avatar
      Marana AZ
      United States
      Member #145337
      August 3, 2013
      253 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: April 17, 2020, 5:58 pm - IP Logged

      If coronavirus doesn't drive home the need for having online lottery ticket sales, nothing will.  Many aspects of our economy will change because of the virus.  More people will bank and pay bills online, purchases from online stores will keep climbing, and most state and local services will be deployed online.  My wife even bought a new car online last week and had it delivered.  Why should the lottery be the sole exception to online access in so many states?

        partlycloudy07's avatar - father
        North Carolina
        United States
        Member #163492
        February 1, 2015
        2565 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: April 17, 2020, 7:49 pm - IP Logged

        If coronavirus doesn't drive home the need for having online lottery ticket sales, nothing will.  Many aspects of our economy will change because of the virus.  More people will bank and pay bills online, purchases from online stores will keep climbing, and most state and local services will be deployed online.  My wife even bought a new car online last week and had it delivered.  Why should the lottery be the sole exception to online access in so many states?

        Good point EdG1955 I wish they would fix the problem the stand alone lottery machines have here now .. you cannot play a combo , if they are running a draw say like keno or pb mm etc the stand alones will stop and not run all your tickets . Players here have encouraged taking all interaction with the clerk away but yet after about 5 yrs of machines placed they cannot get them to do everything that the clerk does. About two years ago we were told that every store would have stand alones and that has not happened yet I guess they are scared of losing the incomes of ALL people like the poor who knows . I don't encourage online play unless NC is going to make online play for more than just the big ticket games on the website and I do not see why they  cannot implement that in a  timely fashion they can make new and exciting scratch cards every month they spend $$$$$$ on the machines that they have now but if you can't combo or play for less  than a dollar then all you did was put an ornament in big chain stores like wal-mart , publix , etc that have the machines that work half way . They added keno to the machines here about 6 months ago but yet we still can't use the machine without bothering the clerk if we are playing for less than what they want us to. What if I wake up one day and want to become the 50 cent lady and not the combo lady ....guess I won't play either or . The lottery uses the pick 3 and 4 here like its their bread and butter to pay for all the other big ticket items and then complain that sales are down when you give us repeats and some of the players are sitting out ....they need only to look back at the pick 3/4 for the last 2 or 3 months even a blind person can see where they are being less than dishonest with us . Don't treat pick 3/4 likes its your cash cow and then complain when people sit out . Rant

        “You cannot solve a problem at the same level it was created" .......Albert Einstein

         

        Throw it against the wall and see if it sticks (every time I send a deal to the banker ROFL

          "Wherever there is number, there is beauty." -- Proclus

        visit my blog 

         

        Pick 4 pets 1917 , 1921, 5509 , 1970

          reddog's avatar - Snapshot 20120517.JPG
          Durham, North Carolina
          United States
          Member #1616
          June 5, 2003
          2419 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: April 17, 2020, 10:00 pm - IP Logged

          http://wlos.com/news/local/north-carolina-education-lottery-raises-record-setting-708-million-for-education

           

          maybe they should give back the healthy raises and bonuses they gave themselves last year .I know they did b/c I know some lottery workers ...they can say what they want drop in a few feel good stories but you still have children here with no books for the classrooms , schools in disrepair , teachers having to provide for children out of their own money , among other reasons and btw just b/c they build one or two schools big deal concentrate on your immediate problems with the schools that you do have. 

           

          Cashiers are tired of people going in and out to play in the store , crowding around each other to talk about numbers , just go in the store with the papers filled out,

          and try to play day and night . 

           

          Sales are down b/c they keep bringing repeats in pick 3 and 4 people get tired of spending money on nothing but repeats that just came out nothing more than that and some people have lost their job but not so much as the repeats that they keep bringing. 

           

          Close it down NC if you want players will not care as much as you think we will some of us may need that break ROFL

          Actually the stores are, like me, getting stuck behind standing in the 6 foot paced out line, dealing with pick 3 and pick 4 players holding up everyone playing well over $100 worth of numbers. It's ridiculous and puts everyone in danger.

          US Flag

            partlycloudy07's avatar - father
            North Carolina
            United States
            Member #163492
            February 1, 2015
            2565 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: April 17, 2020, 10:58 pm - IP Logged

            Actually the stores are, like me, getting stuck behind standing in the 6 foot paced out line, dealing with pick 3 and pick 4 players holding up everyone playing well over $100 worth of numbers. It's ridiculous and puts everyone in danger.

            that's why we need to have machines put in the stores to take the lottery away from the cashiers reduce the payback to the stores for not being hassled by players , reduce the theft by store employee's , and to in general lighten the load of everyone. I know some people that play big like that those are the exact people that are asked to step to the back but my point is and was we need machines and less human interaction people are scared to scan DL's to play so I understand the state not wanting to lose money

            “You cannot solve a problem at the same level it was created" .......Albert Einstein

             

            Throw it against the wall and see if it sticks (every time I send a deal to the banker ROFL

              "Wherever there is number, there is beauty." -- Proclus

            visit my blog 

             

            Pick 4 pets 1917 , 1921, 5509 , 1970

              joola99's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg

              United States
              Member #54488
              August 20, 2007
              3342 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: April 18, 2020, 7:48 am - IP Logged

              Good point EdG1955 I wish they would fix the problem the stand alone lottery machines have here now .. you cannot play a combo , if they are running a draw say like keno or pb mm etc the stand alones will stop and not run all your tickets . Players here have encouraged taking all interaction with the clerk away but yet after about 5 yrs of machines placed they cannot get them to do everything that the clerk does. About two years ago we were told that every store would have stand alones and that has not happened yet I guess they are scared of losing the incomes of ALL people like the poor who knows . I don't encourage online play unless NC is going to make online play for more than just the big ticket games on the website and I do not see why they  cannot implement that in a  timely fashion they can make new and exciting scratch cards every month they spend $$$$$$ on the machines that they have now but if you can't combo or play for less  than a dollar then all you did was put an ornament in big chain stores like wal-mart , publix , etc that have the machines that work half way . They added keno to the machines here about 6 months ago but yet we still can't use the machine without bothering the clerk if we are playing for less than what they want us to. What if I wake up one day and want to become the 50 cent lady and not the combo lady ....guess I won't play either or . The lottery uses the pick 3 and 4 here like its their bread and butter to pay for all the other big ticket items and then complain that sales are down when you give us repeats and some of the players are sitting out ....they need only to look back at the pick 3/4 for the last 2 or 3 months even a blind person can see where they are being less than dishonest with us . Don't treat pick 3/4 likes its your cash cow and then complain when people sit out . Rant

              Partlycloudy07,

               

              Good day hope all is well.  Any idea why the NCEL vending machines

              won't allow combo play?  It would be golden if they did that way I wouldn't have to interact with the store clerk

                reddog's avatar - Snapshot 20120517.JPG
                Durham, North Carolina
                United States
                Member #1616
                June 5, 2003
                2419 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: April 18, 2020, 7:52 am - IP Logged

                that's why we need to have machines put in the stores to take the lottery away from the cashiers reduce the payback to the stores for not being hassled by players , reduce the theft by store employee's , and to in general lighten the load of everyone. I know some people that play big like that those are the exact people that are asked to step to the back but my point is and was we need machines and less human interaction people are scared to scan DL's to play so I understand the state not wanting to lose money

                I agree with you on the machines, but one of the downfalls that I have heard brought up is that if you are going to use the machine you will need to wear gloves of some sort. There's no telling who has been putting their fingers on the glass. And another problem is the machines won't allow a card that is marked 50 cent play. Oh, well.Thumbs Up

                US Flag

                  partlycloudy07's avatar - father
                  North Carolina
                  United States
                  Member #163492
                  February 1, 2015
                  2565 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: April 18, 2020, 9:12 am - IP Logged

                  Partlycloudy07,

                   

                  Good day hope all is well.  Any idea why the NCEL vending machines

                  won't allow combo play?  It would be golden if they did that way I wouldn't have to interact with the store clerk

                  Don't know we have asked and the stores Sheetz , Speedway , etc were told they were getting machines early 2019 but here we are  still not able to play all we need to without bothering the clerk . Personally I think its b/c not everyone has a DL here or ID but I would suggest that NC implement a code that a player can use if they want to remain anonymous . NC should reduce the amount of money paid to the store recoup more profit forthe  winning tickets past $600 save that money...at the end of the day a cashier doesn't want us to bother them and we are tired of getting the sighs of having to run our tickets . Last night I ran 4 slips 25 numbers this is the cashier to another customer when he wanted a pb ticket "its going to be hot minute" no seriously that is what she said so if I'm standing off to the side minding my own business waiting for my tickets to run should I go to the last person in the long line and say 'its going to be a hot minute b/c this min wage employee can't seem to move the line" no I have better sense than to speak what I am thinking . 

                   

                  Everytime we ask why they won't we get "we are working on that" well I don't know who they got working on that this many years later but I would suggest firing them and working on it with someone that knows how to get it done.

                  “You cannot solve a problem at the same level it was created" .......Albert Einstein

                   

                  Throw it against the wall and see if it sticks (every time I send a deal to the banker ROFL

                    "Wherever there is number, there is beauty." -- Proclus

                  visit my blog 

                   

                  Pick 4 pets 1917 , 1921, 5509 , 1970

                    cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

                    United States
                    Member #197033
                    March 28, 2019
                    535 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: April 18, 2020, 1:13 pm - IP Logged

                    If coronavirus doesn't drive home the need for having online lottery ticket sales, nothing will.  Many aspects of our economy will change because of the virus.  More people will bank and pay bills online, purchases from online stores will keep climbing, and most state and local services will be deployed online.  My wife even bought a new car online last week and had it delivered.  Why should the lottery be the sole exception to online access in so many states?

                    I Agree!

                    ... Sooper dooper top seekrit winning numbers: 5 16 17 24 33 52 ...

                      TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                      A long and winding road
                      United States
                      Member #17083
                      June 10, 2005
                      6407 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: April 18, 2020, 3:32 pm - IP Logged

                      Abiding by the social distancing is what is curtailing sales. 

                      Unless they mean to say more folks are hospitalized from this virus. 

                      It could also be said more folks are driving down sales in gym memberships.  Or amusement parks.

                      3443 2445 1220 1500 1320

                      Value that which cannot be bought or sold.

                        Vergie6's avatar - 2019 happy-4th-kitten.gif
                        25
                        North Carolina
                        United States
                        Member #59853
                        March 29, 2008
                        47159 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: April 18, 2020, 3:58 pm - IP Logged

                        I agree with you on the machines, but one of the downfalls that I have heard brought up is that if you are going to use the machine you will need to wear gloves of some sort. There's no telling who has been putting their fingers on the glass. And another problem is the machines won't allow a card that is marked 50 cent play. Oh, well.Thumbs Up

                        A man who works at another Sheetz I called after I was told they could not run my slips for me told me

                        that I could buy 50 cent p3 & p4 tickets as long as they add up to an even dollar amount because the machine

                        does not give change but he is wrong about that because I have tried to buy them and couldn't...you can only

                        buy dollar p3 or p4 tickets & I told him that and he still said you could so I just let it go.

                        I just called there to see if all Sheetz were doing the same way or if it was just the one I had gone to

                        and he said they were.

                        I go to a gas station now and there is hardly anyone in there when I go...today it was only the clerk

                        and me and a man was going in as I was coming out so will go there from now on.

                          reddog's avatar - Snapshot 20120517.JPG
                          Durham, North Carolina
                          United States
                          Member #1616
                          June 5, 2003
                          2419 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: April 18, 2020, 5:02 pm - IP Logged

                          A man who works at another Sheetz I called after I was told they could not run my slips for me told me

                          that I could buy 50 cent p3 & p4 tickets as long as they add up to an even dollar amount because the machine

                          does not give change but he is wrong about that because I have tried to buy them and couldn't...you can only

                          buy dollar p3 or p4 tickets & I told him that and he still said you could so I just let it go.

                          I just called there to see if all Sheetz were doing the same way or if it was just the one I had gone to

                          and he said they were.

                          I go to a gas station now and there is hardly anyone in there when I go...today it was only the clerk

                          and me and a man was going in as I was coming out so will go there from now on.

                          He's thinking 50/50 probably, which does make it cost a dollar for that number. But still if you play two numbers only on a card at 50 cents each, which totals 1.00 it still won't work because the machines are programed not to accept printing a number that only cost 50 cents.

                          US Flag

                            Vergie6's avatar - 2019 happy-4th-kitten.gif
                            25
                            North Carolina
                            United States
                            Member #59853
                            March 29, 2008
                            47159 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: April 19, 2020, 7:36 am - IP Logged

                            He's thinking 50/50 probably, which does make it cost a dollar for that number. But still if you play two numbers only on a card at 50 cents each, which totals 1.00 it still won't work because the machines are programed not to accept printing a number that only cost 50 cents.

                            No he understood what I meant or he would not have said if they added up to be an even number I would

                            owe I could get 50 cent tickets from the machine...I've found out a lot of clerks do not know much about

                            what the machine will do because they're not trained about it.

                            I tried to tell him what you said about it not being programmed to accept slips for 50 cent tickets not in 

                            those exact words but he still said if it came out to be an even amount I owed I could get them so like

                            I said I just gave up and said thank you and hung up the phone.