Many people in our area were so eager to win the $580 million Powerball jackpot that they drove to other states to purchase tickets.
Local convenience stores typically stay busy enough selling gas and snacks, but stores likely would have been overloaded with customers had Mississippi been part of Wednesday's Powerball drawing. Newscenter 11 spoke to numerous area residents about whether they would like to see Mississippi take part in the lottery. Despite our efforts, we could not find anyone who opposes a lottery.
"I'm for the lottery," Angie Gates said. "If it can be used positively, for education."
"I'm for the lottery because then maybe we would quit losing revenue to the states around us," Carla Gable said. "For instance, Tennessee and Louisiana."
House District 82 Representative Charles Young, Junior told Newscenter 11 by phone that there are three groups in the state that are against the lottery. First, casinos, because the lottery impacts their revenue. Young said faith-based organizations are also against it because of the gambling aspect. Young said the conservative coalition opposes it because it provides a tax on individuals that cannot afford it.
Representative Young told us he will talk to his constituents before deciding whether to push for a lottery. Meanwhile, House District 83 Representative Gregg Snowden said he would support it if it had a clear purpose, such as funding education.