Powerball fever case in 5 states without lotteries

Loretta Williams lives in Alabama but moved to Georgia to buy lottery tickets for a chance to win the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot.

She was one of several Alabama ticket-buyers flooding state lines on Thursday. People across the country are battling for a chance to win the third largest lottery prize in American history. But in some of the five states without lotteries, envious spectators are crossing state borders or sending ticket money to friends and family in hopes of getting in on the action.

“I think it’s ridiculous that we have to drive to get lottery tickets,” Williams, 67, said.

Five states – Utah, Nevada, Hawaii, Alaska and Alabama – do not have lotteries. A mix of reasons have kept them away, including objections from conservatives, concerns about the impact on low-income households, or a desire not to compete with existing gaming operations.

“I’m pretty sure the people of Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia appreciate our contributions to their roads, bridges, education systems and many other things that they spend that money on,” said the Democratic legislator from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Chris England said. ,

Several times weekly, England asks constituents when Alabama will approve the lottery: “especially when people watch TV and see it’s $1.5 billion dollars.”

Opportunity is tied to opportunity

In 1999, Alabama voted a lottery referendum as part of a mix of opposing churches and out-of-state gambling interests. Since proposals for the lottery have come to a standstill in its legislature, the issue is now tinged with debate over electronic gambling.

In Georgia, a billboard along Interstate 85 tells motorists to stop at a gas station billing as the “#1 lottery store” 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the Alabama–Georgia line. Alabama car tags outnumbered Georgians in the parking lot several times and a line stretched across the store for ticket purchases.

Bruce Gidos, floor manager at Pierre Place in Chesterfield, NH, prints out Powerball tickets on Thursday, November 3, 2022. The Powerball jackpot climbed more than $1.5 billion on Thursday after someone won in Wednesday’s drawing.

AP. via Christopher Rader / The Brattleboro Reformer

Similarly, anyone seeking lottery tickets in Utah must drive to Idaho or Wyoming, the two closest states in the Salt Lake City metro area, where the majority of the population lives. The lottery has long been banned in Utah amid strong opposition to gambling by the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon Church. The faith is headquartered in Salt Lake City and most of the lawmakers and more than half of the state’s residents belong to the religion.

In Malad, Idaho, 13 miles (21 kilometers) from the Utah line, KJ’s Quick Stop is taking advantage of Powerball’s absence in Utah, advertising for tickets directly to Utah residents. “Just because Utah doesn’t participate in the lottery doesn’t mean you can’t!” Read their website recently.

KJ sold hundreds of Powerball tickets to residents of Utah on Thursday alone, Kwik Stop cashier Cassie Rupp said.

Can you increase your chances of winning the Powerball jackpot?


“Everyone wants to be a part of the scene”

In Alaska, when oil prices plummeted in recent years, legislative proposals to generate revenue through lottery games, possibly including Powerball, faltered. A 2015 report suggested that annual income from statewide lotteries could be around $8 million, but cautioned that such lotteries could negatively affect charitable gaming activities such as raffles.

Anchorage podcast host Keith Gibbons was in New York earlier this week but forgot to buy a Powerball ticket, even though he didn’t know the size of the jackpot. When told it could be $1.5 billion, his response: “I want a ticket.”

He believes that even though Alaska is extremely diverse – students in the Anchorage School District speak more than 100 languages ​​other than English in their homes – the Powerball has to offer everyone.

“Everybody’s a little bit here, and so when you bring in stuff like this, it doesn’t just speak to our culture, it talks to all cultures because everybody wants money, everybody wants to win, Everyone wants to be a part of the scene,” Gibbons said.

Not everyone agrees.

Harmful “waste of money”

Bob Endsley is not a fan of Powerball. He says Alaskans should not be given the opportunity to buy tickets. “It’s a waste of money,” Endsley said, also finding fault in the taxes paid on the winnings and the rising jackpot.

Taking a break from clearing snow from his sidewalk, the Anchorage man said he once won $10,000 in a Canadian lottery. But it was long ago, he said, that he didn’t remember what he did with the windfall other than “paying taxes.”

Hawaii joins Utah as the two states to ban all forms of gambling. Measures to establish a Hawaii state lotteries or allow casinos have been introduced from time to time in the Legislature but routinely fail in committee.

Opponents say legalized gambling will disproportionately harm Hawaii’s low-income communities and encourage gambling addictions. Some argue that the absence of a casino allows Hawaii to maintain its status as a family-friendly destination. Gambling is popular among Hawaii residents, however, with Las Vegas being one of their top vacation destinations.

Wearing a University of Alabama hat, Jon Jones of Montgomery, Alabama, bought a Powerball ticket Thursday in Georgia. He voted for the Alabama Lottery in 1999 and said he expected lawmakers there to try again. A retired painter, Jones said he doesn’t usually buy lottery tickets, but he decided to take a chance.

He said many Alabamians in Georgia stores are doing the same thing. “I even met some friends here,” said 67-year-old Jones.

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