North Carolinians trying their luck on lottery games won the most prizes ever in fiscal year 2022, helping to raise $929.8 million for education programs.
All the prizes and earnings for education result from record lottery ticket sales during the year, according to unaudited year-end results. In fiscal year 2022, the lottery:
- Recorded $3.88 billion in ticket sales, continuing its record of increasing sales every year since the lottery started in 2006.
- Paid out a record amount in prizes, $2.54 billion. Those included 76 prizes of $1 million or more and 228 prizes between $100,000 and $1 million.
- Raised for the second year in a row more than $900 million for education. The lottery raises on average about $2.5 million a day for education programs.
Mark Michalko, executive director of the lottery, said the financial results spotlight what state lotteries are all about.
“It’s great to see so many people having fun and winning prizes while raising money for education programs in North Carolina,” Michalko said. “These monies represent an important investment in education and will help create a brighter future for students from pre-k to college.”
The additional dollars support education programs in all 100 counties of the state, as determined by legislators in the state budget. The money last year helped:
- Build and repair schools.
- Make college more affordable through scholarships and grants based on financial need.
- Support school systems with the costs of school staff and transportation.
- Provide a free, academic preschool to at-risk four-year-olds in the NC Pre-K program.
The financial results show scratch-off tickets remained the most popular type of lottery games, generating 68 percent of the sales. The other most popular games were Carolina Pick 3 with 12.5 percent of sales; Carolina Pick 4 with 5.7 percent of sales; followed by Powerball with 4.6 percent of sales.
Retailers across the state also earned $266 million in commissions from lottery ticket sales. With more than 7,000 retail locations, the commissions play an important role in the state’s retail economy.
At the end of the fiscal year, the lottery’s total contribution since inception in March 2006 exceeded $9.2 billion.