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Economy hasn’t hurt lottery here

Like those in other parts of the country, as the economy worsens Pike County’s lottery sales keep rising. They jumped 13.5% between 2006 and 2007, the last year for which figures are available. Pike County stores raked in $4,604,628 in lottery spending that year, ranking Pike 119th out of 159 counties. Sales per capita came to $274 for every man, woman and child who lives here, ranking Pike at 132nd in the state. In all, locals spent $3,215,044 on instant games, $845,915 on Cash 3, $137,358 on Cash 4, $113,391 on Fantasy 5, $181,708 on Mega Millions, $51,130 on Keno, $45,502 on Win for Life and $10,580 on Millionaire Raffle. With that much lottery money going out, less was coming back in. A total of 532 college students from Pike received $958,801 in HOPE scholarship funds. Of these, 206 students, receiving 59.1% of the money, were in state universities. Another 304 students were in technical college. They got 34.9% of the money. Private colleges were educating 22 countians, who got 11% of the money. There were 2.1% more Pike countians in college in 2007 over 2006, with HOPE funds for them rising by 11%. Since the scholarship began in September 1993, 2,860 Pike students have received $7,907,406 HOPE dollars. In all, 875 went to Georgia universities, earning 49.6% of the money; 1,781 went to technical colleges, accounting for another 39.7% and 204 went to private colleges, getting 10.7% of local HOPE income. Of 181 graduates in 2006 ‘“  a completion rate of 76.4% ‘“ 55.2% were eligible for the lottery-funded scholarships for the 2007 academic year. Of the graduates, 99 had college preparatory diplomas, or 54.7%.

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