“You just hit the jackpot!”
If you’re reading this and you made the trip to purchase a lottery ticket, you didn’t have the good fortune of hearing these words.
The winners of the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot include a couple from Tennessee, one resident from Florida and one from California.
According to NBC News, the insanely low odds of actually winning a share of the jackpot (a one in 292.2 million odd as reported by ABC7.com) didn’t stop people all over the globe from spending a total estimated $326 million on lottery tickets.
Even students attending Troy University were willing to cross borders in order to purchase their Powerball tickets.
Corey Dodson, an undeclared freshman from Pelham, said he drove to Esto, Florida, to buy his two lottery tickets.
With Alabama being one of six states in the United States not participating in the sale of lottery tickets, it would be fair to assume that the number of lottery tickets purchased by Alabamians will die down with the conclusion of this latest record-setting Powerball jackpot.
Many people think that if Alabama began selling lottery tickets, not only would more natives of Alabama start purchasing tickets regularly, but that it would also provide other benefits.
“I understand the reasoning behind the state of Alabama not having a lottery, but I think it would be extremely beneficial to our state economy to implement one,” said Ashton Prouty, a sophomore political science major from Spanish Fort.
Furthermore, implementing a lottery into the state of Alabama could potentially be rather profitable for post-secondary students.
“I believe it will help Alabama tremendously,” Dodson said. “If we started selling tickets, then we could do the same thing with ticket sales that Georgia does, and that’s help pay for college tuition.”
Georgia’s HOPE program (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) is a unique scholarship program that is funded entirely by the Georgia Lottery.
According to GAcollege411.org, the HOPE program has awarded over $6.4 billion to over 1.5 million students attending Georgia colleges, universities, and technical colleges since its founding in 1993.
If Alabama began a similar program, the additional funding would be monumental in terms of enabling more and more students to further their education.
And the downside?
With Alabama being a part of the Bible Belt, people are often opposed to instituting a lottery because it’ll lead to gambling; but the fact is this: anyone addicted to gambling — or anything for that matter — will go wherever needed in order to satisfy the addiction.
The positives of having a lottery far outweigh the negatives. It’s time to look past the “what-ifs” and look forward to making a better Alabama.