North Carolina’s Digital Lottery Sales Propel State to Record $4.9 Billion

Digital lottery games in North Carolina have swooped in to save the day, offsetting the predictable decline in sales of those old-fashioned, paper lottery tickets. Apparently, people love scratching off the thrill of victory from the comfort of their couch more than trekking to a store.

If the state had stuck to just selling traditional tickets, lottery coffers would be looking rather empty as we approach the end of this fiscal year on June 30. Instead, digital games have hoisted total lottery sales in North Carolina to a surprising $4.9 billion through May. That’s a hefty $857.3 million more than the same date last year. Looks like playing the lottery has become just another thing people prefer to do online.

May’s numbers paint a clear picture of this digital success story. For just that month, total lottery sales hit $534.7 million, a significant jump of $176.2 million or 49.2% compared to last year. However, not everyone is singing praises about this spike. Scratch-off ticket sales plummeted by $10 million or 3.9%, and ticket sales for big-prize draw games like Powerball and Megamillions also saw a $5 million drop. It’s evident that traditional ticket sales are sliding into obsolescence.

Greg Bowers, the state lottery’s deputy executive director, made sure to emphasize that this digital lottery trend isn’t just a Carolina quirk. The entire lottery industry in the U.S. is experiencing a similar decline in traditional ticket sales. He pointed out that with the advent of Digital Instant games, North Carolina has not only avoided a loss but has actually increased overall sales revenue. It’s clear that even in the gambling world, evolve or die is the rule.

Beyond these games, it’s worth noting that North Carolina is investing lottery profits back into education, including pre-K programs, college scholarships, and school construction. Since launching in 2006, the lottery has funneled more than $10 billion into education, according to the lottery commission.

Adding another layer to the gambling pie, legalized sports betting kicked off in March, generating $42 million in revenue expected to fund gambling education, addiction programs, youth sports, and public-school college athletics. The numbers are in, and it looks like North Carolina is betting big on a digital future while still trying to hold onto its traditional values.

Written by Staff Reports

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