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Selling the lottery to Alabama, Utah and Nevada


I was just looking over the RESULTS page.... noticed there are still at least three states without lotteries.  Probably each for a different reason.  But naturally, we all would like to see every state pass a lottery law, have a lottery so's if we happen to be traveling there we could buy a ticket. 

So.  How could Alabama, Utah and Nevada be persuaded to join the other states in having lotteries?

When PB or MM officials are there lobbying the legislators, tell them how much money's going to go into the state coffers in a ballooning annuity.  PB, or MM keeps the money and invests it for them, trickles it out to them over, say, fifty years, at which time the states will be rolling in dough.

Yeah.  I'll bet that would convince them what they're missing out on.  If annuity's a good deal for players, if it's a legitimate way to represent lottery winnings it ought to be a good way to represent lottery earnings, as well.

On the other hand, maybe it would be cool at the next national conference of state governors, for the states to give some thought to holding the lottery earnings for PB and MM, and giving it to those two worthies in annuity form.    The states holding the money, investing it for them, trickling it out to them in annual payments that go up up up over the next few decades.

Wow.  I'll bet Powerball and MegaMillions would just be delighted to have the states handling that money for them, investing it for them, giving them the same good deal they're giving winners.

Imagine the press releases.  States telling taxpayers the inflated dollar values the lottery's bringing in.... Dow Jones reporting the amazing profits of Powerball and Mega millions.

It's a winwinwin for everyone.

Remember where you heard it first.


Entry #377


ToddComment by Todd - October 19, 2005, 9:57 am
For "states with no lottery" you forgot Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Mississippi, and Wyoming.
Comment by MrBobb - October 19, 2005, 10:02 am
"Wow. I'll bet Powerball and MegaMillions would just be delighted to have the states handling that money for them, investing it for them, giving them the same good deal they're giving winners."


Seriously though, I've been a resident of lotteryless Alabama for almost 14 years. I moved here from Indiana (which might as well be lotteryless, now that most of their games are computer draw).

When the lottery came up for a vote in 1999, it was defeated by a vote of 54 percent to 46 percent. If they held another lottery vote today, I think it would be a little closer, but would still be defeated. The anti-lottery forces in this state are well funded and well organized, so any effort to pass a lottery in Alabama will be met with fierce resistance.

And the current Governor (Bob Riley) doesn't support the lottery either. You can read his comments here: <a HREF="http://www.governor.state.al.us/ask/q-a_04-05-26.htm">www.governor.state.al.us/ask/q-a_04-05-26.htm</a>.

So, my money goes to Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. We vacation or visit friends and family in those states several times per year, so I pick up multi draw tickets when we're there. It's not an ideal way to play the lottery, but at least I get to play.
Comment by Rip Snorter - October 19, 2005, 10:03 am
Ah. Thanks Todd.

Them, too. What I said about Alabama, Nevada and Utah.

ToddComment by Todd - October 19, 2005, 10:16 am
No problem. I keep a list of "fast facts" pinned to my pegboard, and that's one of them.
Comment by Rip Snorter - October 19, 2005, 11:15 am
Obliged Todd.

Mr. Bob, thanks for the comment. I agree with what I think you're saying... boiled down, those of us who live in states where we're allowed to legally do what we're going to do anyway are lucky, I suppose.

The default position in the country is that we aren't allowed to do it unless some group of elected officials argues and cajoles and calculates to decide whether we're free do do it legally, or whether we have to sneak around and do it illegally. Which is a weird place for freedom to have gone, but so's a lot of other places.

Comment by MrBobb - October 19, 2005, 4:43 pm
You're welcome, Jack. That was my first comment on a Lottery Post Blog - usually I don't have much time to read the daily Blog entries. You've got a nice blog here! Very interesting!

You wrote:

"I agree with what I think you're saying... boiled down, those of us who live in states where we're allowed to legally do what we're going to do anyway are lucky, I suppose."

Precisely. But at least we got to vote on the issue. Whether I like it or not, the people have spoken. It's too bad that the lottery vote failed, because we could really use the extra money that a lottery would generate for education.

Did you get a chance to read the Govenor's gloom and doom comments from the link I posted above (sorry about the formatting, I didn't know that we couldn't do HTML hot links in the blogs)?

Alabama has one of the most (if not the most) regressive tax systems in the nation. The sales tax is between 8 and 10 percent in the Birmingham metro area. There are no exemptions for food. And then they talk about how a lottery would "hurt our poorest citizens the most."

Look at the amount of money the lottery has generated in Georgia, Florida, and more recently, Tennessee. I don't know what the actual pecentages are, but you can bet there is a fair amount of Alabama money flowing into those states' lotteries. They each get several hundred dollars of my money every year. And I'd play more often except for the fact that it takes just over an hour and a half to drive from where I live to either the GA or TN state lines. Florida is about 3 and a half hours. So I play when I can.

Unfortunately, the family and friends we visit in GA and TN think that the lottery is a waste of money, so I don't ask them to buy lottery tickets for me. They may be right, but I enjoy playing and I never bet more than I can afford to lose. And sometimes I do OK, especially in the Fantasy 5 games.

konaneComment by konane - October 20, 2005, 11:54 am
Never ceases to amaze me that a state (Alabama) which has dog racing ... keeps voting down the lottery.

Perhaps it's a hand in hand coalition of bible belters and dog racing interests which are lobbying to keep the lottery out ..... because it would after all keep money from flowing into their coffer$$$$.

We in Georgia certainly appreciate their contribution to our education system over the years!
Comment by Rip Snorter - October 20, 2005, 12:23 pm
Likely the Alabamians who buy tickets in GA do so because they're concerned about the improvement of the minds of GA kids, whom they consider to be in need of improvement. Alabamians no doubt believe one of the best ways to improve relations between GA and Alabamy would be for Georgians to learn as much asl Alabamians know.

One small step for Alabamians, one large step for mankind.


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