WRAL5 reports …state lottery officials are in the Christmas spirit.

Excuse me while I puke.

Merry Money, the first $10 instant-ticket game in North Carolina, began appearing in stores Tuesday. The new game is part of a trend in the lottery industry toward holiday-themed scratch-off games, which officials hope will boost sales.

The new game features a colorful Christmas tree with gift boxes below. Six tickets out of more than 2 million for sale will be worth the top prize of $200,000. Another new game in stores is called Carolina Greetings, which costs $2 to play.

Lottery director Tom Shaheen says more games at $10 or above are expected, including the possibility of a $20 instant ticket game, which Shaheen says may be attractive to people who don’t always play the lottery.

Is nothing sacred? The ever increasing number of shrill advertisements for the failing NC lottery is bad enough, but to encourage folks to play the lottery in the “spirit of Christmas” is just about as crass as you can get…

Tip to Chad Adams over at the Locker Room.

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