RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) — This past year meant records on records on records for the North Carolina Education Lottery.
A record number of lottery players meant a record amount of winnings and a record amount of money raised for education in North Carolina.
NCEL announced Monday that 2020 brought $3.8 billion in lottery ticket sales, an increase of 26%.
All those ticket sales meant big wins for North Carolinians. The NCEL says it paid out more than $2.4 billion in prizes, and those winnings meant $262 million in commissioners for retailers.
Record ticket sales also mean more money to support North Carolina schools. The state raised a record $936 million through the lottery, a 28% increase, with that money going to support education programs in the state.
Mark Michalko, executive director of the lottery, believes the COVID-19 pandemic set up unique circumstances that led to these spikes. Few options for entertainment meant more people picking up lottery tickets.
“Just like other sales and marketing brands, we faced multiple challenges during these unusual times,” Michalko said. “We succeeded thanks to the loyalty of lottery players, the support of our retailers all across our state, and a tremendous effort by the lottery staff to find ways to safely complete our mission in raising money for education.”