Carolina Pick 3 opens smoothly

Ticket sales $1.1 million for weekend

Staff WriterOctober 10, 2006 

North Carolinians spent $1.1 million over the weekend playing the latest state lottery offering, Carolina Pick 3.

No glitches were reported as the state launched its first game in which it oversees nightly live drawings.

Until now, the state had offered only scratch-off tickets and Powerball, a national jackpot game which has live drawings conducted from a studio in Iowa.

The Carolina Pick 3 drawings are held at WRAL-TV studios in Raleigh.

The state will add a pick 5 game Oct. 27.

Sales for the first three days of the pick 3 game averaged about $370,000 per day, though sales dropped each day after the launch. A glance at sales per day:

* Friday, $480,000

* Saturday, $402,000

* Sunday, $229,000

Lottery director Tom Shaheen said three days of sales is too early to judge any type of trend, but the forecast is for the game to generate about $350,000 in sales each day.

"It's done what we've expected it to do," Shaheen said.

He said rains across much of the state -- and even the chemical fire in Apex that began late Thursday -- might have hurt sales.

Lottery officials said about $486,000 in prizes were paid over the first three days.

Shaheen also said he's unsure how deep the player base for a pick 3 game in North Carolina will be. Daily drawing games tend to attract players familiar with dog track and racehorse betting because the ways to win and payouts are similar, he said.

Staff writer J. Andrew Curliss can be reached at 829-4840 or

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