RALEIGH – The N.C. Education Lottery has made its first transfer of lottery revenues to the state for fiscal year 2013, providing to the education programs that it serves an additional $121.1 million.

The transfer, made today, brings the total amount earned for education and the state since the lottery started six years ago to $2.58 billion.

Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery, said the first quarter transfer is five percent higher than the one made at the same time last year. She attributed the increase in earnings for education to higher first quarter sales resulting from a $320 million Powerball jackpot in August and a new set of instant games that offer players the chance to win as much as $5,000 a week for life. Lottery ticket sales were $383.7 million in the first quarter of FY13, up five percent compared to the same period last fiscal year.

“We’re off to a good start this year raising money for important education programs in North Carolina,” said Garland. “The dollars that the lottery makes help keep class sizes smaller, help pay for new schools or repair older ones, help four-year-olds get ready to start school, and help North Carolina students cover the costs of going to college. Using lottery dollars to pay for these important causes means a lower tax burden on the citizens of our state.”

Once a quarter, the lottery transfers the money it makes to the state. The $121.1 million included $111 million earned from ticket sales and unclaimed prizes in the first quarter of the year and $10.1 million in revenues and unclaimed prizes after the final transfer was made in June 2012.

Legislators decide how lottery dollars are used and how they are allocated. Based on the state budget for fiscal year 2013, 50 percent of the money will go to teacher salaries in grades K-3, 22.7 percent to counties for school construction or repair projects, 14.3 percent to the prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds called N.C. Pre-K, 6.9 percent for college scholarships based on financial need, 3.7 percent to local school systems, and 2.4 percent for the UNC Need-Based Grant program.