Spellers walk onstage at the start of the second round of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee competition May 30, 2012 in National Harbor, Maryland.
Photographer: (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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ELYRIA, Ohio - The Ohio Lottery says it's no longer paying $115 registration fees for schools taking part in the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, favoring instead a program that helps gambling addicts.
The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram ( http://bit.ly/N0kEbB ) reports officials cited budget cuts for discontinuing about $178,000 in fees for participating Ohio schools. The agency has paid them since 2008.
Lottery spokeswoman Danielle Frizzi-Babb says the agency's budget for sponsorship programs was cut from $1.7 million in the last fiscal year to $1.5 million. She also says the state has cut the lottery budget to a level similar to 2008.
Frizzi-Babb says more funding was needed for a gambling support group as additional casinos open in Ohio.
The newspaper reports the agency's overall revenue in the last fiscal year totaled about $2.7 billion.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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