“Put your pants on. We’re going to Raleigh.” -Patti Kennedy
The person quoted above won $200,000 on a lottery scratch card last week, but spends $500 every month on the North Carolina lottery. That’s $6,000 every year—which when added annually to
your average mutual fund can easily appreciate to almost $100,000
any bank account would be over $50,000
in about ten years
in just eight years. Gambling addiction is a huge problem, particularly among the poor and uneducated, and is fueled heavily by the North Carolina Education Lottery.
How much does the lottery actually contribute to our education system?
The graph on the left comes from the NC Education Lottery Website, behind a link titled: Where The Money Goes. It describes the “breakdown of the net proceeds to education.” The graph on the right is definitely NOT found on the Lottery’s website. The pie represents the total 2007 North Carolina Education budget, showing the lottery’s contribution: 1.2% for the fiscal year. (The cut of the net revenue that goes to the private corporation that runs the lottery: more than $60 Million last year alone.)
The North Carolina State Lottery Act and the 2005 Appropriations Act were passed thanks to a big push from Governor Mike Easley, under the guise of badly needed education funds. In lobbying for this bill, Governor Easley failed to describe the thousands of Patti Kennedys every month that don’t win and struggle to put food on the table and pay their mortgage. It’s nobody’s fault but the person who throws their entire paycheck away on lottery tickets, but that does not justify state sponsored gambling with shamefully thieving odds. (Cue the joke about the lottery being a tax on people who can’t do math.)