Should Alabama Have a Lottery?
Is it time for Alabama to get a lottery?
In just the 3rd quarter of 2014 alone, Georgia lottery officials say more than $261 million in proceeds was used to fund education initiatives. Georgia lottery officials say third-quarter transfers in 2014 to the HOPE Scholarship program and state pre-kindergarten programs surpassed third-quarter proceeds from 2013 by more than $17 million.
Census numbers show 4.849 million people living in Alabama as of last year. If only 20% of those played the bare minimum ($1) each week, that would generate $969,800 per week! For 52 weeks, that would total $50,429,600. Of course, some would play more than $1 per week, making the total a bit more. According to Powerball, 50 cents of every one dollar ticket sold in a state is paid out in prizes. Then, a percentage share for the jackpot is sent back to the Multi-State Lottery Association, leaving the rest of the profits for the state.
As much as we hear about budget shortfalls, it seems like all revenue-generating options would be considered. Is it time for Alabama to consider a lottery, or would that be unethical?