RALEIGH, NC, August 2, 2021 – The N.C. Education Lottery set new records for sales and money raised for education in FY21, earning $936 million in profits from $3.8 billion in sales.

With the new sales record, the lottery continued increasing its ticket sales every year of its operations, 15 years in a row. Sales increased by 26 percent over the year before and earnings jumped 28 percent. On average in FY21, the lottery generated $10.4 million a day in sales and raised $2.5 million a day for education, according to unaudited year-end results.

Mark Michalko, executive director of the lottery, attributed the results to unique circumstances in the state’s economy during the COVID-19 pandemic combined with exceptional performance of popular lottery games that North Carolinians enjoy playing.

Michalko said consumers turned to lottery games during the times in the year when they had few other options for entertainment. He said lottery players found lots of ways to have fun, including a new game called Fast Play, that provides both an instant prize and a progressive jackpot, major life-changing jackpots in Powerball and Mega Millions games, and an array of new scratch-off tickets.

“Just like other sales and marketing brands, we faced multiple challenges during these unusual times. We succeeded thanks to the loyalty of lottery players, the support of our retailers all across our state, and a tremendous effort by the lottery staff to find ways to safely complete our mission in raising money for education.”

– Mark Michalko, Executive Director of N. C. Education Lottery

Michalko said hitting those sales and profit records again this year will be a challenge as other competing entertainment options fully reopen across the state, but that the lottery will stay focused on driving continued growth in its efforts to raise funds for education.

All game categories performed well, exceeding sales from the year before. Other FY 21 results including:

  • $2.5 billion in scratch-off ticket sales, up 22 percent, setting a new scratch-off record and topping $2 billion for second year in a row.
  • More than $1 billion in sales of draw games for first time, including $498.6 million in Carolina Pick 3 sales, up 24.5 percent, and $227.7 million in Carolina Pick 4 sales, up 23 percent.
  • $2.46 billion in record amount of prizes.
  • $261 million in commissions to retailers, $52 million more than the year before.

At the end of the fiscal year, the lottery’s total contribution since inception in March 2006 exceeded $8.2 billion.


Van Denton
Director of Corporate Communications
N.C. Education Lottery
Office: (919) 301-3308
Cell: (919) 650-9409