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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- When North Carolina began a state lottery at the end of March, economists for South Carolina predicted that its sales would drop 12 percent. The results so far have defied those projections, as the South Carolina lottery has seen a 5.5 percent increase in sales since last year, reported The Sun News.
Scratch tickets lead the lotto sales, and instant tickets account for 60 percent of the lottery sales, the newspaper reported. But sales like the Powerball, a multi-state lottery drawing, have not increased since North Carolina’s introduction into the lottery.
Since North Carolina started selling the Powerball tickets, South Carolina Lottery executive director Ernie Passailaigue said that his state's sales of the Powerball tickets have dropped 15 percent.
Tim Madden, chairman of the state's lottery commission, told The Sun News, "Until we've been through a few jackpot runs, I don't think these numbers are going to settle down."
As North Carolina continues to introduce new games for its lotto, such as $10 scratch-offs and Pick 3 and Pick 5 games, South Carolina believes that its higher payouts will keep gamers coming back.
South Carolina officials can not judge if this year will be another record setting year for revenues, the report stated. Last year, the state's lottery revenues set the record at $1.14 billion. Last year, the sales were boosted by large jackpots, such as a $365 million jackpot that helped sales.
The revenue helps supply money for college scholarships, computers, technology and elementary through high school education and programs. Next year, lotto profits exceeding $250 million are expected to go to the state for its education, the report said.
"I think we'll meet that goal and -- hopefully, like every other year -- exceed it," Passailaigue told The Sun News.