State House approves lottery

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 7, 2005

RALEIGH – North Carolina moved one step closer to a state lottery here yesterday (Wednesday).

In a 62-58 vote, the North Carolina House of Representatives approved House Bill 1023, a resolution pertaining to the lottery. The measure now goes before the State Senate for their consideration.

Local state Representatives Howard Hunter Jr. (D-Hertford) of Winton and Michael Wray (D-Northampton) of Gaston voted in favor of the lottery.

Last week, both local legislators said they were not proponents of gambling, but stated they would vote for a lottery in order to generate funds for public schools. Both men cited the money, an estimated $300 million, that pours out of North Carolina on an annual basis thanks to state citizens playing lotteries in Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.

&uot;Because the lotteries in those states fund education, we are helping to pay to educate their children,&uot; Hunter said in an interview last week. &uot;We must keep that money in North Carolina for our children and their education. I believe the legislators must do what it takes to keep that money at home.&uot;

Following yesterday’s historic vote, Hunter contacted the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. He said the House version of the resolution would divide lottery proceeds into three areas – 50 percent to school construction and 25 percent each to college scholarships and special education programs.

Hunter added that the bill also carried strict advertising regulations. Lottery advertising will be permitted only at sites where tickets are sold. Newspaper, radio or television advertising of the games of chance will be forbidden.

Apparently, local Roanoke-Chowan area citizens are in overwhelming agreement that there should be a state lottery. In this week’s poll question (listed online at, 84 percent of 125 responders to the poll said they would like to see a lottery in the state. Those numbers were as current as 4 p.m. on Wednesday.