by Sarah Curry
Director of Fiscal Policy Studies
The Leftist newspaper Indy Week has highlighted its cover with a color photographs of the different NC Lottery games headlining a new article, “Gambling on the lottery to increase teacher pay”. This headline is bringing attention to the House’s idea of increasing the lottery revenue by doubling its marking amount to fund a teacher pay increase. I go into more detail of the plan in my weekly newsletter if you want more facts on the proposal and what legislators need to be aware of before making a decision on using the lottery for a teacher pay increase.
After hearing debate from many of the Senators during the committee meeting yesterday, it is clear that increased lottery funds will be used in some fashion to fund a teacher salary increase. The question now is what level of dependency should be shifted to the lottery for a recurring General Fund appropriation?
In addition to the opposition from both sides of the aisle on increased lottery funding, I found it comical that Indy Week decided to also include a list of events and the probability of them occurring, including winning the various games offered by the NC Lottery. See below.
Instant scratch-offs: 1 in 3 to 1 in 5: Odds of winning something or breaking even
Odds of being poor in the U.S.: 1 in 6
Odds of a woman having identical twins (naturally conceived): 1 in 250
Carolina Pick 3
1 in 1,000: odds of winning a $250 jackpot
1 in 1,000: odds of winning a $500 jackpot
Carolina Pick 4
1 in 416.7 to 1 in 10,000: odds of winning a $2,500 jackpot
1 in 416.7 to 1 in 10,000: odds of winning a $5,000 jackpot
Dying from drowning, lifetime Odds: 1 in 1,134
Turning a successful triple play in a baseball game: 1 in 1,400
Odds of a woman having identical triplets (naturally conceived): 1 in 8,000
Odds of being struck by lightning (lifetime): 1 in 10,000
Odds of a man bowling a perfect game (amateur): 1 in 11,500
Odds of hitting a hole in one (amateur): 1 in 12,500
Odds of contracting West Nile: 1 in 66,592
Carolina Cash 5
1 in 84,000: Odds of winning $500 in Carolina Cash 5 EZ Match
1 in 575,757: Odds of winning 54.71 percent of the prize pool.
Getting hit by a meteorite (lifetime): 1 in 700,000
Dying while running or jogging: 1 in 1 million
Dying from a lightning strike (lifetime): 1 in 3 million
North Carolina Powerball: 1 in 175 million: Odds of winning the jackpot.
North Carolina Mega Millions: 1 in 259 million: Odds of winning the jackpot.
Sources: N.C. Education Lottery, National Safety Council, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, The New York Times, NBC, ABC, TIME