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S.C. only state with no lottery sales on Election Day

South Carolina LotterySouth Carolina Lottery: S.C. only state with no lottery sales on Election Day

Reason for the law is unclear

South Carolinians can pick politicians and decide a slew of state issues Tuesday, but they can't elect to buy a lottery ticket or a bottle of booze.

State law prohibits the sale of both on statewide election days.

While a ban on selling liquor isn't unique to South Carolina, it is very likely that shutting down the state lottery is. And the reason lottery tickets are forbidden isn't nearly as clear as a banned bottle of vodka.

"I think we're the only state in the country that has this prohibition," said Ernie Passailaigue, executive director of the South Carolina Education Lottery.

The intent could have been symbolic. Jim Hodges, a Democrat, advocated creating a lottery to fund education during the 1998 election, when he upset incumbent Gov. David Beasley. Two years later, voters approved the lottery, sending the matter to the Republican-dominated state legislature to be sorted out.

"I've been told it was, quite frankly, designed to address concerns that the lottery would turn into a political advantage for Governor Hodges (in 2002)," Passailaigue said. "They didn't want the lottery to be used as a political advantage for any candidate."

With the absence of state legislative records indicating the rationale behind laws, the exact reason for the ban is hard to determine without asking the legislators who crafted it. But even those involved don't seem to remember.

"I'll be honest with you, I don't really think there's any good reason that we don't sell lottery tickets on election days," said state Sen. Scott Richardson, R-Hilton Head Island, who sits on the education committee. "We sell them every other day," including on the holiest of holidays, such as Easter and Christmas.

Because lottery tickets also can't be sold on primary election days, the South Carolina Education Lottery estimates it will forfeit $5 million in ticket sales this year. Depending on prize payouts, up to $2 million of that money would have gone to fund education initiatives.

There have been efforts to lift the ban. In 2005, a bill was introduced in the state Senate, but it stalled before ever coming to a vote.

"We've given the legislature our estimate of the fiscal impact of not selling tickets and it's up to them to act on it," Passailaigue said. "We don't lobby to change the laws."

And so, when the clock strikes midnight tonight, the lottery will shut down its computer gaming system, preventing the sale of electronic tickets or redemption of prizes. Instant tickets also won't be sold, although it's up to the individual retailer to enforce the state law.

The lottery will hold two drawings Tuesday, but buying the tickets will require some foresight.

South Carolina may be the lone state banning lottery tickets, but it's also in the minority when it comes to outlawing the retail sale of liquor on Election Day.

Nine states have some sort of alcohol restriction during elections, while 12 others allow local governments to decide, according to the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association.

The issue is on the ballot in Oklahoma, where voters could decide to repeal that state's long-standing prohibition.

Compared with some of the others, South Carolina's ban appears watered down. Only package stores are required to close. Beer and wine sales aren't affected and the hard stuff still can be poured at bars and restaurants.

The law dates back to at least 1945 and probably was on the books much earlier, said Mark Plowden, of the S.C. Attorney General's Office.

"I would suspect it goes back to the days when a vote could be bought for a drink," said Danny Brazell, spokesman for the S.C. Department of Revenue.

Alcohol bans also were thought to keep people from drunkenly heading to the polls, where an intoxicated vote counts just as much as a sober one.

The State

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7 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by DoubleDown.
Page 1 of 1
Tenaj's avatar - michellea
Charlotte NC
United States
Member #17406
June 18, 2005
4053 Posts
Offline
Posted: November 7, 2006, 1:55 pm - IP Logged

What?And this is a state where you can get married at 14 and that law just passed this year.

takeemtothebank

    Avatar
    Coastal Georgia
    United States
    Member #2653
    October 30, 2003
    1866 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: November 7, 2006, 2:24 pm - IP Logged

    Here in the deep south we no longer wonder why we get ridiculed by the rest of the country. Agree with stupid

     

    The SC daily numbers will be drawn, but you can't buy a ticket for them.

     

    Doh !  Bang Head

     

                                   

                  

     

     

      weshar75's avatar - Lottery-042.jpg
      Mcminnville, Oregon
      United States
      Member #3013
      December 13, 2003
      3055 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: November 7, 2006, 3:50 pm - IP Logged

      It does not make much sense to have a law to not sell lottery tickets on election day.  Especially if you sell tickets for the rest of the year but not just this one day.  I wonder how much money is lost by the lottery because you can not buy or sell lottery on this one day?-weshar75

        MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
        Beautiful Florida
        United States
        Member #5709
        July 18, 2004
        20124 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: November 7, 2006, 7:26 pm - IP Logged

        Here in the deep south we no longer wonder why we get ridiculed by the rest of the country. Agree with stupid

         

        The SC daily numbers will be drawn, but you can't buy a ticket for them.

         

        Doh !  Bang Head

        Now how stupid is that? you can't buy a ticket, but they'll draw the numbers??????

        Isn't that like"if you go to church, you must be a christian".  Well, what if you go to your garage, "would that make you a car"???????

        Not to worry DD, New Jersey is getting like the deep south everyday...!

                       

                                       Crazy 





                                                     

                                                       "  When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty "

          Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg
          FEMA Region V Camp #21
          United States
          Member #520
          July 27, 2002
          5699 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: November 7, 2006, 8:47 pm - IP Logged

          Absurdly foolish.

          Posted 4/6:  IL Pick 3 midday and evening until they hit:  555, 347 (str8).


            JAP69's avatar - alas
            South Carolina
            United States
            Member #6
            November 4, 2001
            8790 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: November 7, 2006, 8:58 pm - IP Logged

            I went to the store at mid-day to get tickets. Forgot it was no sales on election day. I blatted and whined for an hour until I got the draw results and found out I would have lost. Green laugh

            The 125 combo drawn tonight is a heavy fave that is played in S.C. That number is compared to trip sales.
            How many P***ed players tonight who did not buy advance plays.

            MAGA

              Avatar
              Coastal Georgia
              United States
              Member #2653
              October 30, 2003
              1866 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: November 7, 2006, 9:52 pm - IP Logged

              If you listen real carefully, you can hear the music from Deliverance playing in the background..

              Guitar  "You shore got a purty mouth, boy "