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Tennessee may cap lottery winnings at $600 for poor

Tennessee LotteryTennessee Lottery: Tennessee may cap lottery winnings at $600 for poor

The Tennessee Legislature is considering a bill that could end up making life more difficult for the poor — or could help them, depending on your point of view.

The bill at the center of the issue is scheduled to be discussed at a committee hearing Wednesday.  It would prohibit anyone receiving state or federal assistance, sometimes called welfare, from winning $600 or more in the state lottery.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Stacey Campfield (Knoxville), said that if someone can't afford the basic necessities and is receiving public assistance such as food stamps, then they shouldn't be spending their money on gambling.

On the other side of the issue, some people say that the government shouldn't tell them how to spend their money.

WATE, a TV news channel in Tennessee, recently reported on the issue.

The bill doesn't address the unemployed, only those receiving public assistance from taxpayer money.  Even if person receiving public assistance has a job, their winnings would be capped, because they are receiving money from the government.

A state fiscal review of the Tennessee bill found that lottery sales would drop by approximately 2.37%, or 147,403 fewer players, if the law is passed. Net lottery ticket sales are projected to drop by $23,972,100 in fiscal year 2009-10.

The state's review found that half of the people who receive food stamps from the state — 294,805 individuals — buy lottery tickets.  Half of those people are projected to stop playing the lottery if the bill passes.

If those people stop playing Tennessee will lose $6.4 million in scholarships and grants that it provides each year from its proceeds.

But for the remaining half of food stamp recipients, or 147,403 people, who would continue to play the lottery despite being prevented from keeping their winnings over $600, the money would go to the state. In effect, they would be playing for the state.

The Tennessee Education Lottery Corp. reported that approximately 11% of the awarded prizes are for $600 or more. Therefore if half of the food stamp recipients continue playing, and thus continue donating their winnings to the state, the after-school programs would gain more than $1.3 million a year.

As of February, Tennessee has a 9.1% unemployment rate, leaving 276,312 state residents out of work. It's a population almost equal to the number of people in Tennessee who receive food stamps.

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81 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by Empress-N.
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RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
mid-Ohio
United States
Member #9
March 24, 2001
19830 Posts
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Posted: April 8, 2009, 12:10 am - IP Logged

"The bill's sponsor, Rep. Stacey Campfield (Knoxville), said that if someone can't afford the basic necessities and is receiving public assistance such as food stamps, then they shouldn't be spending their money on gambling."

What a crock!  It's alright for them to spend a dollar on a pick3 game that pays $50-$500 but get penalized it they play and win a game that pays big money.   

Ohio once had a law to limit what people could win playing lotteries but it was for everybody, no one lottery ticket could win over $20M regardless of the jackpot size.  People stop playing locally and went out of state to play.  After a year they got rid of that law but sales never rebounded until they added MegaMillions.

 * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
   
             Evil Looking       

    HaveABall's avatar - rocket

    United States
    Member #72448
    March 18, 2009
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    Posted: April 8, 2009, 1:30 am - IP Logged

    Hum, I can understand the State's position in a way.  The state is attempting fiduciary duty towards their multi-county's tax payer's monies received and allocated towards welfare recepients (as far as I know, any may receive, even prior non tax paying non-citizens) -- only wanting their county's tax payer monies to go to their monetarily wounded residents if they are going to spend it on NEED items such as: supermarket groceries, gas, suit for higher paying job interviews, and utility bills -- not chance tickets.

    However, I think the law should be modified to indicate that if the "tax payer assisted" ticket owner wins over $20,000 gross, IN ANY U.S.A. LOTTERY, within a calendar year, that the county will first withdraw amount of any taxpayer assistance monies or subsidies received up until the point of receiving the net monies won.  It would be easy for any county to work with any single or multi state lottery company's billing department to ensure that local county get paid first (just as the ticket purchased in State and our Federal Government).

    Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

    Disney

      ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
      Idaho
      United States
      Member #56506
      November 21, 2007
      6537 Posts
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      Posted: April 8, 2009, 1:37 am - IP Logged

      I don't think the government/state should be telling people what they can spend their money on. I understand why they want to do it, but really, the whole thing seems like a slippery slope to me.

      "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

        wiseone2's avatar - moon
        New Member
        iowa, illinois
        United States
        Member #4477
        April 27, 2004
        40 Posts
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        Posted: April 8, 2009, 1:38 am - IP Logged

        Really doesn't make much sense.  People play the lottery in hopes of winning enough money to pay bills, have better quality of life....get off of welfare, etc.  They should be happy if the recipients win enough to get off goverment assistance.   Also, if they lose, which is more likely, then they in all actuality are giving the money back to the government.  So the government wins either way.   Why only let those who have money already, win?  Bottom line is....if you have a state lottery, it should be open to ALL who pay to play.  And if you pay to play, you should also be able to win!

          Rocket 455's avatar - rocket
          Bellevue, KY
          United States
          Member #53340
          July 4, 2007
          2622 Posts
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          Posted: April 8, 2009, 3:05 am - IP Logged

           Meanwhile, recently in the Tennesseean, this story; "

          Nashville banks' execs get millions

          Bailout loopholes allow some bonuses, 'golden parachutes'"

           Trillions of dollars tossed to a group of elites who destroyed the economy in the biggest ponzi scheme rip off of tax payers in history, and we discuss what a bank teller should spend his or her money on because they can't make enough money to get by without food stamps.

           Incredible... Beam me up Scotty...

          She was made for the straitaways
          She grew up hatin' Chevrolets
          She's a rocket
          She was made to burn. ~Kathy Mattea

            bashley572's avatar - starwars14
            West Side of Sunny Florida
            United States
            Member #55048
            September 8, 2007
            3371 Posts
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            Posted: April 8, 2009, 5:01 am - IP Logged

             Meanwhile, recently in the Tennesseean, this story; "

            Nashville banks' execs get millions

            Bailout loopholes allow some bonuses, 'golden parachutes'"

             Trillions of dollars tossed to a group of elites who destroyed the economy in the biggest ponzi scheme rip off of tax payers in history, and we discuss what a bank teller should spend his or her money on because they can't make enough money to get by without food stamps.

             Incredible... Beam me up Scotty...

            That is the best example of what is wrong with the US right now.  I have no problem with someone getting ahead and making a profit. But when your company takes OUR tax dollars to pay YOUR paycheck vs. closing its doors and there is NO paycheck.  Then you should HAVE to answer to the taxpayer.

            Government needs OUT of private companies, history will show this last year was a mistake to bail all of them out.

            Money won is twice as good as money earned!

              mjwinsmith's avatar - moon

              United States
              Member #391
              June 8, 2002
              16071 Posts
              Online
              Posted: April 8, 2009, 7:37 am - IP Logged

              Hum, I can understand the State's position in a way.  The state is attempting fiduciary duty towards their multi-county's tax payer's monies received and allocated towards welfare recepients (as far as I know, any may receive, even prior non tax paying non-citizens) -- only wanting their county's tax payer monies to go to their monetarily wounded residents if they are going to spend it on NEED items such as: supermarket groceries, gas, suit for higher paying job interviews, and utility bills -- not chance tickets.

              However, I think the law should be modified to indicate that if the "tax payer assisted" ticket owner wins over $20,000 gross, IN ANY U.S.A. LOTTERY, within a calendar year, that the county will first withdraw amount of any taxpayer assistance monies or subsidies received up until the point of receiving the net monies won.  It would be easy for any county to work with any single or multi state lottery company's billing department to ensure that local county get paid first (just as the ticket purchased in State and our Federal Government).

              I am somewhat on the same page as you, let them play the lottery, if they win any amount over $600.00 the law should be that they pay back any and all monies recieved from the state, then the rest is theirs.

              The freak'n government is already stopping hard working Americans who want to play on-line lottery games, what's up with that, it's OUR money we worked for it we should be able to spend it any which way we want.

              Oh, but it's ok to bail out the jerks on Wall street and the Bankers making gobs of money off of us in high rates of interest. Americans better wake up to what's going on.

               >Michael

                Raven62's avatar - binary
                New Jersey
                United States
                Member #17843
                June 28, 2005
                49784 Posts
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                Posted: April 8, 2009, 9:19 am - IP Logged

                New Jersey Administrative Code
                Title 17, Chapter 42
                Lottery Prize Offset For Child Support And
                Public Assistance Payments

                In cases of multiple or conflicting claims, the priority for apportionment is as follows:

                1. Federal Income tax withholding, as required by N.J.A.C. 17:42-1.4;
                2. Child support arrearages, as required by N.J.S.A. 5:9-13.2 to 13.6;
                3. Federal and State student loan defaults as required by N.J.S.A. 5:9-13.10 to 13.16; and
                4. Over payments for Work First New Jersey benefits, which include General Assistance and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), food stamp benefits and low-income home energy assistance (LIHEAP), as required by N.J.S.A. 5:9-13.2 to 13.6

                New York:
                Will Child Support and Public Assistance be withheld from my prize?

                If you are identified by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) as owing past due child support and/or having received public assistance in the last 10 years, the Lottery is required by Section 1613-a(4) of the New York State tax law to withhold money from your Lottery prize(s) of $600 or more.

                A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

                  konane's avatar - wallace
                  Atlanta, GA
                  United States
                  Member #1265
                  March 13, 2003
                  3333 Posts
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                  Posted: April 8, 2009, 9:19 am - IP Logged

                  Hum, I can understand the State's position in a way.  The state is attempting fiduciary duty towards their multi-county's tax payer's monies received and allocated towards welfare recepients (as far as I know, any may receive, even prior non tax paying non-citizens) -- only wanting their county's tax payer monies to go to their monetarily wounded residents if they are going to spend it on NEED items such as: supermarket groceries, gas, suit for higher paying job interviews, and utility bills -- not chance tickets.

                  However, I think the law should be modified to indicate that if the "tax payer assisted" ticket owner wins over $20,000 gross, IN ANY U.S.A. LOTTERY, within a calendar year, that the county will first withdraw amount of any taxpayer assistance monies or subsidies received up until the point of receiving the net monies won.  It would be easy for any county to work with any single or multi state lottery company's billing department to ensure that local county get paid first (just as the ticket purchased in State and our Federal Government).

                  Great point TigerAngel, the state should be paid back in the event of a large win.  Think some states are doing that with delinquent child support, also prisoners repaying cost of incarceration. 

                  However the underground economy is about 100 steps ahead any legislative posturing to pay back taxpayers. This proposal is a day late, dollar short, should have thought of it same time lottery was ratified by voters.

                  Good luck to everyone!

                    Avatar
                    New Member

                    United States
                    Member #24860
                    October 28, 2005
                    4 Posts
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                    Posted: April 8, 2009, 9:21 am - IP Logged

                     Don't forget that Fed & state will tax anything over $600. in the first place, I call this double dipping. On the big lotto's if you take A pay out the tax people get half of whatever winings you recieve.If you string it along for the full payout they still get a 3rd plus of what you get ! The Fed's and States will still get A large lump of your change. This bill would let these rich folks have the upper hand in any situation !!!

                      OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
                      Gurnee, Illinois
                      United States
                      Member #49731
                      February 12, 2007
                      917 Posts
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                      Posted: April 8, 2009, 9:39 am - IP Logged

                      Hum, I can understand the State's position in a way.  The state is attempting fiduciary duty towards their multi-county's tax payer's monies received and allocated towards welfare recepients (as far as I know, any may receive, even prior non tax paying non-citizens) -- only wanting their county's tax payer monies to go to their monetarily wounded residents if they are going to spend it on NEED items such as: supermarket groceries, gas, suit for higher paying job interviews, and utility bills -- not chance tickets.

                      However, I think the law should be modified to indicate that if the "tax payer assisted" ticket owner wins over $20,000 gross, IN ANY U.S.A. LOTTERY, within a calendar year, that the county will first withdraw amount of any taxpayer assistance monies or subsidies received up until the point of receiving the net monies won.  It would be easy for any county to work with any single or multi state lottery company's billing department to ensure that local county get paid first (just as the ticket purchased in State and our Federal Government).

                      I Agree! with HaveABall...in fact, I'll take the Powerball plus 5 matching numbers tonight Alex for $100! (If you're not a fan of Tyler Perry's movies, you won't get it LOL )

                      Thinking objectively about this, it makes total sense what this congressman is proposing.  But in another view, I find it somewhat "Unamerican, and somewhat downright socialist, to cap the profit potential in our free enterprise system (yes that is occurring, but then again right now those companies subject to earnings caps are LOSING money...once they right the ship and pay back the government...let the good times continue to roll for those CEOs...though I do feel that they are jumping ship with many people's 401ks in tow as their job is to lead their respective companies to profitability...those who do the opposite should take the honorable stance that any ship captain or military general (back in the old days) would do and that is go down fighting...it seems they do the opposite now...they bail out with a load of loot and watch the doomed suckers in the plane that just ran out of fuel and no other parachutes go down in flames while they live...to either see another day or run off to play golf and travel the world in first class style!)  Yeah I know that was one hell of a Rant

                      But getting back on point... a more American way would be to require those winning over $20,000 (as HaveABall stated) to pay back any assistance they received.  In this way, a person winning such a windfall would not just view it as a time to go out and blow it (though many still will).  Instead, now that person could use part of it to put themselves through an accredited degree program in order to land a better paying job.  Or to relocate to somewhere where jobs are available in their current skill and occupation. Or start up a small business they had outlined would take, say $5,000 to start.  All of those things would likely lead to that person permanently removing themselves from taxpayer assisted programs.  But to cap their winnings at $600 when they may have had the winning ticket for a state lottery or, God forbid, the Powerball would guarantee that person would REMAIN on taxpayer assisted programs for many years to come.  Not a smart move in my opinion.  Sure I know that not everyone will do any of the three things I mentioned above, but then again, even those well educated make mistakes too!

                      Comeon Powerball...I am not receiving gubment handouts so let me win Powerball TONIGHT!  TO-NIGHT everything's gonna be AL-RIGHT!  This is my chance to...POWERBALL!

                      Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

                      The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

                        Avatar
                        Kentucky
                        United States
                        Member #1528
                        May 18, 2003
                        728 Posts
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                        Posted: April 8, 2009, 9:56 am - IP Logged

                        I think that should be in every state.  A great bill that would be.

                          beaudad's avatar - animaniacs26
                          Mid Atlantic States
                          United States
                          Member #60043
                          April 3, 2008
                          1422 Posts
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                          Posted: April 8, 2009, 10:14 am - IP Logged

                          A few years ago there was a story......I think it was on 20/20 about a man who was on public assistance and he had won a powerball.......I don't remember what happened on that story.....I think he said that he got the tickets from  money picking up cans............anyway I think that the legislators should "heal themselves" before getting in others back yards........It's just another reason to move out of the state of Tenn.........(Only in America)

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                            Honduras
                            Member #20982
                            August 29, 2005
                            4715 Posts
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                            Posted: April 8, 2009, 10:31 am - IP Logged

                            "said that if someone can't afford the basic necessities and is receiving public assistance such as food stamps, then they shouldn't be spending their money on gambling."

                            My gosh the lottery only costs 1 dollar...If you are talking about scratchoffs that cost 30 dollars or 10 dollars on a consistent basis then i see the point, but Powerball only costs 1 dollar...

                            The Forex trades: 1.6 Trillion dollars EVERY day, that´s more than the GDP of the Carribbean Central America, COMBINED. Enough to feed every crook out there for centuries...To all Geniuses & Powers Countries of the World the Planet needs breakthroughs in all Medicine, Veterinary, Biology related fields, Psychology, Population Psychology/Sociology..They need to genetically ingeneer new plants species/types to give more variety of plants and thus have more resources for combating diseases¨