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A lottery ticket run to the border

Editorial / OpinionEditorial / Opinion: A lottery ticket run to the border

An entertaining story about a jaunt to a bordering state to buy lottery tickets highlights Nevada's lack of a lottery — and shoots down the 'regressive tax' theory.

It was a typical Wednesday.

Up at 4:45 a.m., I got in my morning walk with a friend, then negotiated with my husband to drop off the first set of boys at school (he graciously capitulated) so that I could start the day's adventure early.

I put on my favorite hot pink T-shirt with the Black Mountain Community Bank logo, denim overalls, a pair of Kmart knock-off pink and black Converse sneakers, brushed my hair into a ponytail and slapped on a my lucky pink breast cancer awareness baseball cap. Then off to the border I ran.

You're probably wondering which border and what for? I was headed for the Arizona border to purchase the winning Powerball lottery ticket that was going to bring an eclectic group of fine employees and me more than $340 million to split.

Traffic was good crossing Hoover Dam, which made it a smooth, enjoyable and quick ride to Rosie's Den on U.S. 93.

What I didn't expect to find were two short lines — one at the front entrance and another at the back exit. Twenty minutes later I found, to my delight, that I had beat the crowd. By then there were hundreds of people in line to purchase their winning ticket.

As I left, it made me wonder, how many Southern Nevadans ran to the border for themselves and their friends, and how much money was leaving Nevada? If Nevada had a lottery, how much money would it bring to the retailers and state programs such as education? What impact would it bring to local businesses providing printing, advertising and other necessary services? How many jobs would that provide?

Can you envision the ecstasy Nevada gaming executives would feel if they had people by the hundreds waiting in lines to play their games? Just picture, with a $340 million payout, like the one that drew me across the border, the kind of traffic that it would create in a casino.

When I returned to the office with my winning ticket, the research started immediately.

Let's look at the numbers in Arizona. According to a report put out by the Arizona State Lottery Commission, total revenue from lottery ticket sales were $366.5 million in 2004, with 6.5 percent of that gross amount appropriated for payment of commissions to ticket retailers. The state budget benefited with revenue of $103.4 million from the lottery. Not too shabby!

California's lottery is used strictly for education. So, what does the lottery bring to ease that state's growing student population? With sales of $2,940,000,000 — that's right, almost $3 billion — the lottery contributed more than $1 billion to education last year. Retailers benefited by commissions of $264 million. This is huge when you take into consideration that there are only 19,000 retailers in the program.

In 1937, Nevada lawmakers approved the lottery, but it never became law, according to historical accounts. The gaming industry fought it, feeling threatened by the possibility of competition. That apprehension is behind its argument against the lottery still today.

Why is there resistance from Nevada's gaming industry when there is discussion on incorporating a Nevada lottery for our state's education? Who wants to leave 6.5 percent of hundreds of millions, or potentially billions, of dollars on the table? That's not taking into consideration the foot traffic a big jackpot would bring into casinos as lottery retailers. When I was at Rosie's Den, I purchased breakfast and several items from the little store in addition to my tickets.

One of the strongest arguments against the lottery in other states is that it is a form of regressive taxation — poorer people are more likely to play. That's an irrelevant argument in a state with nickel slot and video poker machines at every corner convenience and grocery store.

One way to eliminate the gaming industry's concern may be to allow those with unrestricted licenses an exclusive right to sell lottery tickets for a five-year period, followed by an impact study to see just how harmful the system is. I'm willing to give the casinos such a windfall in order to see millions of dollars raised to pay for smaller classroom sizes, a living wage for teachers, up-to-date textbooks and programs that make our children literate, capable citizens.

A more cynical person might say that the casinos are resistant to improving the educational system because it could impact their access to a lower wage workforce. It is easy for those of us struggling to get the best education for our children in the public school system to look at those top casino executives who are balking at a new revenue source for schools — who probably have the resources to enroll their children in private schools — and assume that they may not care about the state's educational system.

I have come to two conclusions: the first being that an individual's stance on legalizing a lottery for education in Nevada is truly a matter of which seat the spectator is viewing the game from. The second conclusion was that I ran to the wrong border. The next morning, my sister Teresa called and asked why I didn't run to the Oregon border, where the winning ticket was purchased.

The Common Voice

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13 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by DirtyWrat.
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cps10's avatar - Lottery-004.jpg
The Carolinas - Charlotte
United States
Member #21627
September 12, 2005
4138 Posts
Offline
Posted: December 9, 2005, 10:10 am - IP Logged

Ahhhh...pipe down...you have more legalized gambling than any of us...and I am sure that something could be done to improve education there without a lottery.

    Avatar
    Alabama
    United States
    Member #17830
    June 27, 2005
    309 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: December 9, 2005, 10:30 am - IP Logged


    "As I left, it made me wonder, how many Southern Nevadans ran to the border for themselves and their friends, and how much money was leaving Nevada? If Nevada had a lottery, how much money would it bring to the retailers and state programs such as education? What impact would it bring to local businesses providing printing, advertising and other necessary services? How many jobs would that provide?"



    As I left, it made me wonder, how many Southern Nevadans Alabamians ran to the border for themselves and their friends, and how much money was leaving Nevada Alabama? If Nevada Alabama had a lottery, how much money would it bring to the retailers and state programs such as education? What impact would it bring to local businesses providing printing, advertising and other necessary services? How many jobs would that provide?



    Living in lotteryless Alabama, I have made many runs to the GA state line to purchase lottery tickets (and I'm going again tomorrow morning). Dollars that could have benefited education in Alabama benefited education in Georgia.

     

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      Avatar
      Sparta, NJ
      United States
      Member #18331
      July 9, 2005
      1977 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: December 9, 2005, 12:49 pm - IP Logged

      It only works when you win.  You don't need a lottery to lose.

      Cheers

      |||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

      I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

        Avatar

        United States
        Member #27625
        December 4, 2005
        88 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: December 10, 2005, 3:35 pm - IP Logged

        In Nevada the Casinos don't what competiton, there's no ethical or moral concern in a state that  legal gambling, prositution (county by county basis) and booze. Competition from the State of Nevada just sends shivers up their well massaged spines. Brrrrrrr!

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #27625
          December 4, 2005
          88 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: December 10, 2005, 3:37 pm - IP Logged

           Sorry, I misspelled PROSTITUTION...

            Avatar
            Huntsville AL
            United States
            Member #16531
            June 1, 2005
            65 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: December 10, 2005, 6:53 pm - IP Logged


            "As I left, it made me wonder, how many Southern Nevadans ran to the border for themselves and their friends, and how much money was leaving Nevada? If Nevada had a lottery, how much money would it bring to the retailers and state programs such as education? What impact would it bring to local businesses providing printing, advertising and other necessary services? How many jobs would that provide?"



            As I left, it made me wonder, how many Southern Nevadans Alabamians ran to the border for themselves and their friends, and how much money was leaving Nevada Alabama? If Nevada Alabama had a lottery, how much money would it bring to the retailers and state programs such as education? What impact would it bring to local businesses providing printing, advertising and other necessary services? How many jobs would that provide?



            Living in lotteryless Alabama, I have made many runs to the GA state line to purchase lottery tickets (and I'm going again tomorrow morning). Dollars that could have benefited education in Alabama benefited education in Georgia.

            Our Tennessee as I do  Amen MrBoob.  But Siegalman is not the answer


              United States
              Member #379
              June 5, 2002
              11296 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: December 11, 2005, 3:22 pm - IP Logged

              Nevadans who are 18, 19, or 20 have CA as an option. The minimum age for lottery in AZ is 21.

                Avatar
                Alabama
                United States
                Member #17830
                June 27, 2005
                309 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: December 12, 2005, 11:48 am - IP Logged


                hsvscubaski said:

                "But Siegalman is not the answer"


                Amen to that!

                 

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                  United States
                  Member #379
                  June 5, 2002
                  11296 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: December 12, 2005, 4:48 pm - IP Logged


                  hsvscubaski said:

                  "But Siegalman is not the answer"


                  Amen to that!

                  We do not need anti-lottery people on Lottery Post. This is a pro-lottery site.

                    Avatar
                    Alabama
                    United States
                    Member #17830
                    June 27, 2005
                    309 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: December 13, 2005, 2:34 pm - IP Logged


                    hsvscubaski said:

                    "But Siegalman is not the answer"


                    Amen to that!

                    We do not need anti-lottery people on Lottery Post. This is a pro-lottery site.


                    And just what makes YOU think I'm anti-lottery?   Ever read any of my posts? BTW, I sure don't see YOUR Lottery Post screen name highlighted in yellow.

                    You don't live in Alabama. Siegalman is NOT a good choice for govenor of this state, regardless of his position on the lottery. The lottery vote didn't pass last time, in part because people didn't trust Siegalman's politicing and cronyism.

                    Get a clue before you start hurling accusations.

                     

                    Check out the benefits of a Lottery Post Premium Membership!

                    Want to know more?  >> Click Here <<

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                      cahaba's avatar - moon
                      Birmingham
                      United States
                      Member #18850
                      July 21, 2005
                      82 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: December 13, 2005, 11:10 pm - IP Logged


                      hsvscubaski said:

                      "But Siegalman is not the answer"


                      Amen to that!

                      We do not need anti-lottery people on Lottery Post. This is a pro-lottery site.


                      And just what makes YOU think I'm anti-lottery?   Ever read any of my posts? BTW, I sure don't see YOUR Lottery Post screen name highlighted in yellow.

                      You don't live in Alabama. Siegalman is NOT a good choice for govenor of this state, regardless of his position on the lottery. The lottery vote didn't pass last time, in part because people didn't trust Siegalman's politicing and cronyism.

                      Get a clue before you start hurling accusations.

                      Good Grief CASH Only!!! With as many posts that you have, you should know better than to stick your neck out like that.

                      Just out of curiosity...why are you freeloading on Lottery Post? It appears that you have superseded your "gentleman's agreement" of only taking up a limited amount of web space for free. Sure, you may have been a paying member previously and you can't afford it right now, so maybe it is wrong of me to wildly accuse you riding our backs. So, I will not do that...just as you should not jump to conclusions.

                      By the way, Siegalman was a crook, a liar, and a backstabber. You can have him if you want him.

                      Oh, and another thing...you're welcome for the space I've purchased for you.

                      Cheers 

                       
                       

                      "Life is like a box of chocolates...you can speculate on what you're going to get through trial and error"





                        Australia
                        Member #17096
                        June 11, 2005
                        225 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: December 14, 2005, 3:46 am - IP Logged

                        Big business calls the shots, what's new? Follow the money - look at campaign donations!

                        But relax everyone! If you live in a state without a lottery, you don't have to waste time and money crossing state lines. Just call Massachusetts lottery from the comfort of your own home, it' a toll free number, order over the phone and the tickets will be shipped to you. I don't know how much Massachusetts makes from out-of-state sales, it must be millions.

                        If you live in a state without a lottery and would like your state to establish one, I recommend voting with your pocket and subscribing to the Massachusetts lottery games. Also tell your local politicians - let them know where the money is going. 

                          DirtyWrat's avatar - dirty rat_3051bs_mor.jpg
                          Darlington, S.C.
                          United States
                          Member #3691
                          February 12, 2004
                          133 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: December 14, 2005, 9:28 am - IP Logged


                          hsvscubaski said:

                          "But Siegalman is not the answer"


                          Amen to that!

                          We do not need anti-lottery people on Lottery Post. This is a pro-lottery site.


                          And just what makes YOU think I'm anti-lottery?   Ever read any of my posts? BTW, I sure don't see YOUR Lottery Post screen name highlighted in yellow.

                          You don't live in Alabama. Siegalman is NOT a good choice for govenor of this state, regardless of his position on the lottery. The lottery vote didn't pass last time, in part because people didn't trust Siegalman's politicing and cronyism.

                          Get a clue before you start hurling accusations.

                          Good Grief CASH Only!!! With as many posts that you have, you should know better than to stick your neck out like that.

                          Just out of curiosity...why are you freeloading on Lottery Post? It appears that you have superseded your "gentleman's agreement" of only taking up a limited amount of web space for free. Sure, you may have been a paying member previously and you can't afford it right now, so maybe it is wrong of me to wildly accuse you riding our backs. So, I will not do that...just as you should not jump to conclusions.

                          By the way, Siegalman was a crook, a liar, and a backstabber. You can have him if you want him.

                          Oh, and another thing...you're welcome for the space I've purchased for you.

                          Cheers 


                           

                          Here we go again. Another Lottery Post member feeling superior because they pay for the extra features.

                          I don't feel like I am riding on anyone's back or that you or any other paying member has made a purchase for the space I use when I make a post. I would think that everyone is welcome to come here and share their views as long as they abide by the rules.

                          I don't know Cash Only's situation but I can easily afford to upgrade. I just don't have any reason to. I don't want to use any wheels or see any draw history. I don't have any interest in using any lottery systems nor do I care to have a home page.

                          If I ever really get into the lottery where a gold or platinum membership would benefit me I wouldn't hesitate to upgrade, so please don't get all high and mighty just because you are doing something that makes sense for YOU.

                          With the lottery I get all the exercise I need.

                                            In futility.