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North Carolina ranks high on new state lottery “sucker index”

The folks at Bloomberg News have just released their latest “sucker index” in which they rank state lotteries for how much they actually pay out in prizes in comparison ticket sales and state income. 

Interestingly, although North Carolinians spend less per capita on lottery tickets than a lot of the other 42 states with a lottery (we’re 23rd),  the state ranks pretty high on the sucker list — 16th out of 43.  That’s in large measure because the prize payouts here are so low (28th out of 43).

All of this probably explains why the gambling industry and its allies in state government keep looking for new ways to expand North Carolina’s lottery and Cherokee casino operations: there are strong indicators that North Carolinians have a lot more income to waste on gambling than they do now. Georgians, for instance, (who rank Number One on the sucker index) spend ten times more per person on lottery tickets than North Carolinians.    

To learn more about the troubling developments in predatory gambling and what the future may well hold for North Carolina, be sure to attend our upcoming Crucial Conversation on the subject on March 27. Click here for more information.

4 Comments


  1. Rob Schofield

    March 16, 2012 at 10:07 am

    One reason that Massachusetts residents spend such an amazing amount on the lottery (more than four times what North Carolinians spend per person) is the prevalence of the game known as keno in the Bay State. This undoubtedly explains why NC lottery officals have talked about exploring the game here.

  2. Frank Burns

    March 16, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I think we should change the name of the NC Lottery. It should no longer be called the “Education Lottery”. We should call it by its proper name, “The Pre K Free Day Care Lottery.”

  3. Matt Ellinwood

    March 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    That’s the same attitude people had when school was extended beyond 6th grade and when kindergarten started. Let people who know about how the brain develops figure out when school should start.

    I prefer: “The NC Lottery: Supplanting Education Funding $1 at a Time”

    http://www.ncjustice.org/sites/default/files/A%20Failed%20Experiment%20-%20Lottery.pdf

  4. Doug

    March 17, 2012 at 9:15 am

    There’s a reason people are poor !

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