Arkansas has spoken. They want a lottery of their own.
In Tuesday’s election, a measure creating a statewide lottery for Arkansas was overwhelmingly approved by voters.
The measure would overturn a ban set in the state’s constitution, back in 1874.
Two thirds of all voters approved the lottery measure, which was endorsed by Lt. Governor Bill Halter.
The beneficiary of this lottery would be students. College scholarships will be funded by the state.
Halter was recently quoted as saying the lottery would raise $100 million annually and likely would have scratch-off games and lottery drawings like other states. The Legislature will decide what types of games will be offered during its 2009 session.
Those opposing the lottery measure warned it would subsidize scholarships on the backs of the state’s poor.
That’s a common argument against lotteries, by the way.
Arkansas is one of only eight states in the nation without a lottery.
The group fighting the lottery in Arkansas, The United Methodists Against Gambling, said on Tuesday night that a state-run lottery is not in the best interest of the people of Arkansas.
They issued a statement that reads, in part:
“For now, we urge the legislature (1) to reject a state lottery, (2) to enact alternative methods for funding college scholarships, (3) to refer to the 2010 general election ballot a constitutional amendment that restricts the definition of state lotteries to exclude all games of chance except the sale of lottery tickets, and (4) if a lottery is authorized, to enact restrictions on targeting low and middle income citizens and the elderly when the State promotes and advertises the lottery.
“Our next step must be to persuade the legislature to reject lotteries or, at the least, severely restrict them, while finding other revenue to fund college scholarships.”
By the numbers
There were no winners in last night’s Powerball draw so the jackpot rises to $25 million on Saturday. The Wednesday, November 05, 2008 Powerball numbers wee 4,5,18,33,36 and the Power Ball was 32. The Power Play multiplier was 2.
Four tickets had the first five numbers. They were bought in Arizona ($200,000), Minnesota ($400,000, since the ticket was Power Played), and two in North Carolina (one of those tickets was worth $400,000, the other, $200,000).
Friday night’s Mega Millions jackpot is $42 million.
Good luck to everyone.