How does North Carolina's Education Lottery work?

It's been the question on many minds with the teachers rally going on in Raleigh this week.

What about the Education Lottery?

It was signed into law in 2005 with the idea of giving back to education.

The net proceeds go to education expenses, including reduced class size in early grades, academic prekindergarten programs, school construction, and scholarships for needy college and university students.

But, according to, only about 30 percent of lottery revenue goes to education. Even if the NC Education Lottery gave 100 percent of its revenue to schools, that would only cover about 19 percent of the state's total budget for K-12 public schools.

For example, in Fiscal Year 2017, education programs in Wake County received $57,148,834 in lottery funds. However, that money did not go to teachers. Elected officials in the state legislature decide how to best use the money provided to the state by the lottery each year.

This is how it was spent in 2017:
  • $38,459,168 of it went to non-instructional support

  • $10,800,464 went to school construction

  • $3,198,172 went to prekindergarten

  • $3,517,030 went to college scholarships

  • $1,173,999 went to financial aid

Want to know how money is divided in your county? Check here.
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