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N.C. Lottery officials mum on payout of first tickets

Mar 8, 2006, 6:46 am

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North Carolina Lottery

$1, $2 and $5 scratch-off games now printing for March 30 debut

Scratch-off tickets for North Carolina's first lottery games will range in cost from $1 to $5, lottery officials said Tuesday.

Lottery director Tom Shaheen shared this and a few other details about the games after a lottery commissioners meeting Tuesday.

But Shaheen balked when reporters asked him details about the games, such as what the biggest payout would be for a scratch-off ticket.

"If I tell you what it's about, it will take away all the excitement for North Carolina," he said.

Here's what he would say:

  • The lottery would start with four scratch-off games.
  • Tickets for two of the games will cost $1 each; the other two will cost $2 and $5 each.
  • At least half the ticket cost will go back to winners as prizes.
  • Lottery television ads should start airing March 27, three days before tickets go on sale.

The lottery is keeping other aspects of the game under wraps. Security officers are watching every step as a lottery subcontractor prints the tickets at a San Antonio plant, Shaheen said.

Within the next few days, trucks will cart the tickets to a secure warehouse. Officials from lottery vendor GTECH can install them in machines statewide.

Shaheen also wanted to keep the ticket design a secret. He said he plans to reveal the tickets' look next week. After the Observer asked for the designs, citing the state public records law, lottery officials announced they would unveil them Thursday.

When asked where the tickets were being stored, lottery spokeswoman Pam Walker said the warehouse is somewhere in Raleigh.

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