Down times; S.C. lottery sales up

S.C. lottery sales are up 3.7 percent despite higher gas prices, food costs and unemployment.

The $15.7 million increase from last spring goes against conventional wisdom that higher gas prices mean lower lottery ticket sales.

“A dollar doesn't really buy you much in these hard economic times, but it will get you a Powerball ticket and the chance to win more money,” S.C. Education Lottery spokeswoman Stephanie Hemminghaus told the (Rock Hill) Herald.

There is one caveat in comparing this year to last in lottery sales: Last year's S.C. lottery sales were lower than in previous years. The dip was attributed to the launch of the N.C. Education Lottery.

Still, Victor Boulware, whose Clover convenience store is one of the state's top lottery sellers, said his lottery revenue is up 20 to 30 percent over last year.

“People are takin' that chance, trying to get out of the hole in one shot,” Boulware said.