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NC lottery introduces ‘Star Trek’-themed game

By Richard Stradling
rstradling@newsobserver.com

RALEIGH When Mr. Spock gave the Vulcan blessing “Live long and prosper,” he almost certainly didn’t have lottery tickets in mind.

But now the N.C. Education Lottery is hoping people take a chance on prosperity with a new “Star Trek”-themed lottery ticket.

The $2 “Star Trek” scratch-off tickets go on sale Tuesday with the usual cash prizes and one unusual noncash one: a trip for two to the 2013 “Star Trek” convention in Las Vegas this summer.

Those who don’t win one of the five $20,000 top prizes or the numerous smaller ones can then go online and enter a “second-chance drawing” for the trip to Vegas, including airfare, five nights in a hotel, $1,000 spending money and tickets for two to the “Star Trek” convention in August.

The lottery has printed more than 3.8 million of the “Star Trek” tickets, featuring spacecraft from the TV show and movies. The odds of winning the trip will depend on how many people enter their losing tickets in the drawing, said lottery spokesman Chris Bushnell.

J.R. Fisher, captain of USS Kitty Hawk, a “Star Trek” fan club in Raleigh, said the cash prizes alone weren’t enough to make him buy a bunch of Trek-themed lottery tickets.

“It’s just another gimmick to me,” Fisher said. “I may get one just to put on the shelf along with everything else.”

But the prospect of winning a trip to Vegas for the convention is a better enticement, he said.

“That would probably be something that would encourage ‘Star Trek’ fans to do it,” he said.

North Carolina is one of about 10 lotteries nationwide that are launching “Star Trek”-themed games this year, in connection with the new “Star Trek” movie due out next month, Bushnell said. Two weeks ago, actor William Shatner, who played Capt. James T. Kirk in the television series, helped kick off a new “Star Trek” scratch-off game for the Texas Lottery in Dallas.

This is not the first time the North Carolina lottery has given away trips instead of cash. Last year, a woman from Shelby won a trip to Hollywood to play “Wheel of Fortune” through a lottery game, while winners of a second-chance drawing on a NASCAR-themed game won trips to races in Las Vegas and Daytona, Fla.

Stradling: 919-829-4739
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