1. How much money was spent in New Hanover County in Educational Lottery products?
2. How much money did New Hanover County receive for schools in each of the past three years via Lottery Distribution?
A. The lottery tracks sales by the fiscal year, July 1 through June 30.
For fiscal year 2013, the figure for lottery ticket sales in New Hanover County is $37.64 million, said Van Denton, communications director for the N.C. Education Lottery.
The lottery ticket sales for fiscal year 2013 for Brunswick and Pender counties, respectively, are $20.65 million and $9.12 million.
Corresponding figures for fiscal year 2012 are New Hanover County, $34.51 million; Brunswick County, $17.84 million; and Pender County, $8.71 million.
Figures for fiscal year 2011 are New Hanover County, $31.85 million; Brunswick County, $16.35 million; and Pender County, $8.59 million.
Lottery ticket sales are tracked for every retail location where tickets are sold, so sales can be broken down on a county-by-county basis, Denton said.
“What’s not known is who the buyer was or where the buyer is from. A lottery ticket could be purchased by a local resident of New Hanover, Brunswick or Pender counties, and many are, but they also could be bought by a tourist visiting North Carolina’s coast or a commuter on his way to work who lives in an adjoining county,” Denton said.
Denton said that state lawmakers decide how the money raised by the lottery is allocated, and the programs that receive the money oversee the distribution.
“Each year, the staff of the legislature prepares a report that provides a county-by-county breakdown on how lottery dollars were used the year before,” he said.
The lottery posts this information in the Where The Money Goes section of its website at www.nc-educationlottery.org. Based on that report, here’s a breakdown for New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties for the last three years:
Fiscal year 2013: New Hanover, $8.94 million; Brunswick, $4.06 million; and Pender, $2.56 million.
Fiscal year 2012: New Hanover, $8 million; Brunswick, $3.88 million; and Pender, $2.34 million.
Fiscal year 2011: New Hanover: $8.30 million; Brunswick, $4 million; and Pender, $2.44 million.
More than $3 billion has been raised to date through the lottery to support education programs in North Carolina, Denton said.
“Most of the lottery money has gone to support teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction and repair programs, college scholarships and grants based on financial need, and the N.C. Pre-K program, formerly known as More at Four, which provides an academic preschool to at-risk 4-year-olds,” he said.
Denton said that the amount of teacher salary money and school construction money flows on a per-student basis based on the number of students that a county has in public schools.
The money a county receives for its Pre-K program is based on the number of eligible 4-year-olds.
College scholarships go to students attending a UNC system school or a community college. Grants go to students attending a UNC system school.
Both scholarships and grants are based on financial need.
According to Charles Smith, spokesman for New Hanover County, the fiscal year running from July 1 through June 30 is the reporting period for lottery distribution reports, the county and school system.
According to figures provided by Smith, for fiscal year 2013, New Hanover County was allocated $1.7 million out of the overall statewide lottery distribution of $98.5 million.
The figures provided by New Hanover County are specifically for school construction funds, which are the only lottery funds provided to New Hanover County government for management purposes.
“There is a significant amount of additional benefit provided (geographically) to New Hanover County in other areas tracked by the Education Lottery team,” Smith said.
In Fiscal Year 2013, the county spent $1,834,368 in lottery proceeds on school construction projects.
“All money that is allocated to New Hanover County projects that are not spent in a particular year are rolled to the next year to be spent,” Smith said.
According to figures provided by Smith, for fiscal year 2013, New Hanover County was allocated $1.69 million out of the statewide overall lottery distribution of $98.5 million for school construction projects.
“In (fiscal year 2012), we spent $2,739,369 in lottery proceeds,” Smith said.
Similar to fiscal year 2013, he said all money allocated to New Hanover County projects that aren’t spent in a particular year are rolled over to the next year to be spent.
In fiscal year 2011, New Hanover County was allocated $1.83 million out of the statewide overall lottery distribution of $108 million.
In fiscal year 2011, New Hanover County spent $458,357 in lottery proceeds on school construction projects. Smith reiterated that all money not allocated to New Hanover County projects that weren’t spent that fiscal year were rolled to the next year to be spent.
Denton said lottery money is distributed according to this ratio: 61 percent, prizes; 28 percent, education; 7 percent, retailers’ commissions; and 4 percent, administration salaries, advertising and operating system expenses.
For information about the full distribution of Fiscal Year 2013 lottery funds by county, go to www.nc-educationlottery.org/uploads/docs/Beneficiary%20Summary%20fy2013.pdf.
Date posted: February 26, 2014
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