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Powerball lottery being considered in Wyoming

PowerballPowerball: Powerball lottery being considered in Wyoming

In the latest push to make Wyoming a Powerball state, an interim legislative committee on Monday authorized legislation allowing Wyoming to join the multi-state lottery.

Individual lawmakers have sponsored Powerball bills in past legislative sessions, but this marks the first time a committee will formally introduce a bill of its own.

A Casper Star-Tribune poll of voters earlier this year showed that 62 percent support Powerball in Wyoming. The poll margin of error was 4 percent.

"The way I look at it, the lottery is something the majority of the people in this state want, and that's reason enough to pass the bill," said Wayne Reese, D-Cheyenne, a member of the Joint Interim Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee, which authorized the bill.

The committee is meeting in Cody this week to discuss a number of measures. It voted 8-5 in favor of the Powerball bill.

Reese said the committee's legislation will be modeled after a similar bill proposed in 2005 by Rep. Dave Edwards, R-Douglas. The bill will include funding to address gaming addiction, a factor that was missing from the 2005 bill and probably contributed to its demise.

State lawmakers have repeatedly defeated efforts to include Wyoming in Powerball, although the votes have been getting closer. Edwards' bill died on a 29-29 House vote in 2005.

Last summer, lawmakers considered calling for a nonbinding referendum to gauge public sentiment on the issue, but a legislative committee in December opted against sponsoring a referendum bill during the recent budget session.

Twenty-eight states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands currently take part in Powerball. The largest-ever jackpot was $365 million won by eight co-workers at a Lincoln, Neb., ham processing plant in February.

The odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are approximately 1 in 146,107,962.

The numbers sound good to Cheyenne resident Kathy Meade, a supporter of Powerball in Wyoming.

Meade doesn't like the fact that so many Wyomingites travel out of state to buy lottery tickets. "I see an awful lot of dollars going to Colorado," she said.

Sundance resident Tom Richards said he makes the 30-mile drive to Spearfish, S.D., about once a month to by a lottery ticket. He'd play more often if he could buy his tickets in-state.

"I think that Wyoming should do it," said Richards, adding that he thinks the social problems blamed on gambling are overstated.

Paul Johnson of Lander said he opposes Powerball in Wyoming after seeing the negative effects of lotteries elsewhere in the country while he was in the military.

"I've seen people spend their house money, medication money, food money for gambling, and then it's gone," Johnson said. "It's not the rich who are spending their money on that."

It's unclear what kind of return Wyoming can expect if it decides to join the lottery community. States earn a portion of tickets sales, with legislatures deciding how the money is spent.

Rep. Edwards estimated in 2005 that the state could net about $10 million a year in Powerball proceeds. Reese said Monday he thinks the figure could be around $6 million.

The initial bill from the travel committee won't include a breakdown of how the state will spent its cut of the money. The committee will work out those details at its June meeting, Reese said.

The committee plans to introduce the bill when the Legislature meets in January.

Casper Star-Tribune

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10 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by CASH Only.
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dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

United States
Member #2338
September 17, 2003
2063 Posts
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Posted: May 3, 2006, 9:16 am - IP Logged

Well at least adding Wyoming won't change the odds or the likelihood of a winner.


    United States
    Member #379
    June 5, 2002
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    Posted: May 3, 2006, 9:58 am - IP Logged

    If WY starts a lottery, it could go the route of North Dakota, which sells only multi-state games. Under current law, there are no scratch tickets in ND.

      DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
      Yinzer Country, PA
      United States
      Member #4067
      March 18, 2004
      2733 Posts
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      Posted: May 3, 2006, 12:24 pm - IP Logged

      That is the problem with North Dakota.  They are too dependant upon MUSL games.  They need to start up their own in-state games, or merge their lottery with SD.  Eventually the people are going to get bored with the games, and then what is the state going to do?

      I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.

        bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

        United States
        Member #12618
        March 18, 2005
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        Posted: May 3, 2006, 1:07 pm - IP Logged

        I think it would be a good idea for Wyoming to join Powerball.

        Dance like no one is watching.

          Avatar
          Coastal Georgia
          United States
          Member #2653
          October 30, 2003
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          Posted: May 3, 2006, 8:36 pm - IP Logged

          Why not ? One more state to lenghten the odds..........

           

                                         

                        

           

           

            dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

            United States
            Member #2338
            September 17, 2003
            2063 Posts
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            Posted: May 3, 2006, 10:03 pm - IP Logged

            Considering the population this is the one state that DOESN"T increase the odds. I think the only other state game should be bingo. 5-7 halls should just about cover it. The only way they can affect game odds is convincing the mosquitos to buy tickets.

              bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

              United States
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              March 18, 2005
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              Posted: May 3, 2006, 10:40 pm - IP Logged

              How does another state joining lengthen the odds? I thought just adding balls did that.

              Dance like no one is watching.

                Avatar
                Amarillo/Austin
                United States
                Member #1424
                April 25, 2003
                696 Posts
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                Posted: May 3, 2006, 11:13 pm - IP Logged

                Powerball would be good for Wyoming.  Extra source of revenue for the state and residents wouldn't have to waste gas driving out of state to play.  People will do what they want to do somehow.  Why not make it easier and let the state keep the money at home?

                Orangeman                                                            Cool

                  dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

                  United States
                  Member #2338
                  September 17, 2003
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                  Posted: May 4, 2006, 1:56 am - IP Logged

                  How does another state joining lengthen the odds? I thought just adding balls did that.

                  It effects rollovers. More players and no change in the game matrix means smaller jackpots.


                    United States
                    Member #379
                    June 5, 2002
                    11296 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: May 8, 2006, 12:27 pm - IP Logged

                    How does another state joining lengthen the odds? I thought just adding balls did that.

                    It effects rollovers. More players and no change in the game matrix means smaller jackpots.

                    Actually, more players mean higher jackpots, since you have bigger rollovers.