Lottery would be a nice addition to Mississippi

Published 7:00 am Friday, September 8, 2017

Winning the lottery is a dream any person would love to come true.

But for Mississippi residents who like to participate, playing the lottery means crossing state lines.

For Pearl River County residents, that means heading to Louisiana.

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Yet again Mississippi lawmakers are investigating what implementing a lottery in this state would mean, at the behest of House Speaker Phillip Gunn, according to the Clarion Ledger.  As they gather the necessary information, the only one concern came from Louisiana and Arkansas that the states would miss out on the revenue they get from Mississippi residents crossing the state line to buy tickets.

Additionally, it appears as though scratch off tickets bring in the lion’s share of the revenue, not power ball tickets.

What is most interesting is that the majority of lottery ticket buyers are not poor. According to the research conducted in

Texas as required by that state’s law, 55 percent of those who buy lottery tickets have an annual salary of $60,000 or more, 86 percent are employed full time and 76 percent are 45-years or older. The Clarion Ledger article also states that a ban on the lottery in this state was repealed as early as 1992, but its practice remains illegal. And, for the past quarter of a century, attempts to pass a lottery bill through the Legislature have either failed or died in committee.

While implementing a lottery in this state will not be the best and only fix to the financial woes lawmakers face, it could be a good first step toward fully funding our education system. 

Even though Gunn requested the fact finding mission, even though he opposes the implementation of a Mississippi lottery, we hope he will use the information gathered to make an objective decision and allow it to be given the full due process.