Retailers Cash in on Lottery Tickets
Special Report - May 12, 2009
A recent report by NewsChannel 36 in Charlotte, unveiled a potential conflict in the amount of North Carolina Lottery winnings that retailers, charged with selling the game, are collecting for themselves. According to NewsChannel 36’s investigation, nearly 500 retailers won jackpot prizes of at least $600 since 2008 when the lottery first started keeping track of retailer winnings. At least 70 of those retailers won multiple times. The investigation was conducted by pouring over lottery spreadsheets listing thousands of records of lottery winnings.
Records show that some employees of North Carolina retailers have won as many as 12, 27, and 39 times each with some accumulating hundreds of thousands of dollars in multiple jackpot winnings. Retailers argue that their money is just as good as other North Carolinians. It is legal in every state with a lottery for retailers to play. When asked about multiple retailer winnings, Executive Director of the lottery Tom Shaheen commented that “Anything in life can happen.” He contends that retailers win a lot because they play a lot. At a House committee meeting May 5, Shaheen told representatives that “less than 1 percent of retailers win.”
That committee meeting included consideration of HB 1289No Lottery at Check Cashing Sites, sponsored by Rep. Pricey Harrison (DGuilford) that would prohibit the sale of lottery tickets at businesses whose primary revenue comes from check cashing. She also proposed an amendment to prohibit the sale of lottery tickets to owners, employers, and employees of lottery sale locations. Shaheen argued that such an amendment would “severely impact [the lottery’s] return to education.” Harrison pulled the amendment from consideration but may reintroduce a similar amendment.
Copyright © 2009. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.