So much for lottery moderation

So much for lottery moderation

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North Carolina’s lottery is here, and Vance Countians among those playing it the most.

A news analysis by the Fayetteville Observer this week said that – just as critics had predicted – evidence suggests the state’s poorest residents are gambling on the lottery in disproportionate numbers. The Observer reports that of the 25 counties that sold the most lottery tickets per adult resident, 12 of them were among North Carolina’s 20 poorest counties. And right near the top of the list – both in poverty and lottery ticket sales per capita – is Vance.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau Vance County’s poverty rate is 10th among 100 counties in North Carolina. A staggering 20.5 percent of our friends and neighbors live below the poverty line.

But numbers provided by the lottery commission show that Vance Countians per-person have thus far bought nearly double the number of lottery tickets sold in the “average” North Carolina county. The average amount per resident spent on lottery tickets in each county since the games began March 30 is $5.65. In Vance County, we’ve bought $10.35 worth of lottery tickets per person.

The only counties in a 15-county chart provided by the Fayetteville Observer that purchased more lottery tickets per capita than Vance were Wilson (20th in poverty, $12.09 in tickets) and Edgecombe (14th in poverty, $10.88 in tickets). (more…)