Gaming vendor executive next to lead NC lotteryGary D. Robertson, Associated Press · March 13, 2018 at 1:31 pmRALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A top executive at a gambling operations vendor is the next executive director of the North Carolina Education Lottery.The lottery commission voted Tuesday to hire Mark Michalko (muh-HAL-coe). He will succeed Alice Garland, who announced last fall she would retire at the end of March.Michalko is currently a vice president for International Game Technology’s overseas operations, and previously worked for the Ohio and California lotteries. He’ll make $212,000 annually.The lottery began selling tickets in 2006. Annual sales steadily increased under Garland’s tenure, while the share earmarked for public education has grown to $622 million. Projections foresee sales and profit records this year.The lottery is facing challenges with its latest game, called Carolina Keno. Legislators have been pushing back against overtures to expand online sales.Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.