The jackpots for the Mega Millions and Powerball are high this week, and the Alabama residents are making sure they do all they possibly can to join in on the fun while waiting endlessly for approval of a state-run lottery of their own.
Alabama is one of the five U.S. states that doesn’t have its state lottery yet, and so locals have to drive to one of the four bordering states to get their hands on the tickets while spending considerably on gas – which could’ve easily been saved had there been local retailers in that area.
Numerous residents are on their way to Florida to get their tickets.
A retailer (Flora-Bama Liquor and Lotto) sits right on the border between the two states on Perdido Key Drive in Pensacola. Employees were seen serving customers and recalled people lined up waiting for their turn to draw game tickets between 9 am and 9 pm on Friday. While waiting in the line, the players were talking about what they would do with the winnings if they hit the jackpot.
“I’m going to buy a house on the beach,” a woman from Montgomery told WKRG.
“I’m from North Alabama, so I definitely wouldn’t live in North Alabama anymore! I’d be living somewhere down here.” Another customer, Jason Slay, said. Good choice!
It was the first time visiting the store for another player, Joe Phillips from Orange Beach, AL, but not the first time playing the lottery. “I keep a running of what I do. I think total last year in the lottery, all the different forms of lottery, I won like 260 bucks, but I have no idea how much I spent. I don’t keep a running of total of that. I’m afraid to look” he told the reporters. Completely understandable, you just can’t stop spending once you get your hands on so much money!
It doesn’t stop there – many players visit Tennessee and Georgia to buy their lottery tickets too, and with the addition of the Mississippi Lottery a while ago, residents can now travel to Mississippi!
Convenience stores, gas stations and all other local retailers in Tallapoosa were full as Alabamians lined up their tickets.
John Weeks and JoAnn Howard, two players from Oxford, AL, told CBS 42 that they like to make a fun day out of their trips over state lines. Oxford is about a 40-minute drive from Tallapoosa. “It’s fun. We come over, and we listen to music. We sing a lot. You know. We come over here, have lunch, and we like to enjoy the beautiful day.” Weeks said in an interview.
While some players rather enjoy the time, some players are not quite happy about travelling the long and extra distance just to play the lottery.
“Very frustrating. I could have stayed at home and been done in 10 minutes.” Don Broadenas of Birmingham, AL said.
And honestly, I completely get that. It is a headache having to travel so far away just to get your hands on the tickets when some people can just get it within a touch. It can get pretty frustrating – I would be too!
Governor Kay Ivey had experts conduct a study on the benefits of casino gambling and states’ lottery. Based on that report, Alabama would gain $200-300 million annually – those numbers are why people in the state are trying to get the officials to bring the lottery to Alabama.
“If you did nothing else but take the lottery money and put that into education, our students would be so much higher internationally. And we need that.” Howard said.
“Would you please, please, give us an opportunity to have a lottery too? We need other individuals to come to our country too. So we can benefit the rewards.” Rahming said.
I definitely agree – why not bring the lottery to Alabama and make it easier for the residents and enjoy the benefits?
More about Lottery
Do you want to get your hands on the lottery, but from just a touch?
You can do that – by checking out the lottery websites online!
Whether you want New York lottery results or to purchase a ticket from there, you can get your hands on it all from the comfort of your home.