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Welfare lottery ban proposed in North Carolina

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Changes to the North Carolina Education Lottery could be coming including banning people on welfare from playing the state-run game.

"We're giving them welfare to help them live, and yet by selling them a ticket, we're taking away their money that is there to provide them the barest of necessities," Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, R-Wake told the News & Observer.

"I just got my food stamps, I don't play the lottery but I think [banning people] is ridicules," said Tyler Keener of Winston-Salem. "I think it's a scam. A big scam."

Rep. Stam says lawmakers are looking at other ideas including making lottery ads more truthful and eliminating the word "education" from the name. Stam believes the word "education" should not be used to sell something that he believes is a state supported scam. "What they're talking about is making it a more honest lottery," Stam said.

A spokesman for the North Carolina Education Lottery says they haven't fully reviewed all the legislative proposals but say when it comes to advertising they have the best practices in the industry. As for removing "education" from the name, lottery officials believe it would hurt lottery sales.