OTHER DEVELOPMENTS WEDNESDAY:

March 30, 2006 

* The lottery unveiled a new Web site: www.nc-educationlottery.org.

It has information on how to play the games and how to claim prizes, retailer information and more.

* Gov. Mike Easley touted the lottery in a visit to a day-care center near downtown Raleigh, where he said he wants the focus on education programs that will get millions.

Asked whether he planned to play, Easley said he has never bought a ticket in his life.

"I think I will, though," he said. " 'Cause I know that every dollar that I spend will go to these 4-year-olds. Whether I win anything or not, they do. ... I'm not going to make a big production out of it."

* Attorney General Roy Cooper warned people to watch out for lottery scams.

Most will occur in the form of letters, e-mail messages and phone calls, Cooper's office said. The scams often promise a prize or other winnings, but need a check or bank information to verify or process the prize. The state lottery doesn't do any of that.

In addition, lottery officials say that in Western states, scammers often try to persuade a victim to buy a "winning" ticket in exchange for an amount less than it would be worth when turned in later.

* A group fighting how the lottery was created filed an appeal seeking to overturn an unfavorable ruling in Wake Superior Court.

The N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law filed the action with the N.C. Court of Appeals but said it anticipates asking the state Supreme Court to take the case and expedite arguments.

"The need for the quickest possible resolution of these issues is imperative," the institute's director, Robert Orr, said in a statement.

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