No lottery in Alabama means many are going to Tennessee for their chance at winning big

Updated: Jan. 15, 2021 at 10:38 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Mega Millions Soars to $750 million, the second largest jackpot in Mega Millions history. But with no Alabama state lottery, this left many north Alabamians making the trek to Tennessee on Friday.

Jeffrey and Allison Hines are from Albertville, and they said they drove to Fayetteville for their chance to win it big.

″Today is our lucky day, so we drove up here. We are going to win,” Jeffrey Hines said. “If not us then who.”

For Greg Moses and Keith Barnes, they both made the trip from Huntsville.

“I got the numbers, I’ve been playing for a while. I think I have the winning combination,” Moses said.

“If I win I will give my kids money to go to finance school to learn how to spend it, then I will change my name and disappear,” Barnes said.

Back in February, Governor Kay Ivey asked a group of experts to study if casino gaming and the lottery would benefit the state. In December, the report came back. That report states the lottery would bring in an estimated $200 to $300 million annually.

Alabama State Senator Arthur Orr said this is something that he feels will be brought up in the next legislative session.

“As far as a lottery, trying to travel alone, a lottery kind of bill can go by itself or it may get combined with other types of gambling,” Senator Orr said.

Since it would require an amendment to the state Constitution, the process is more than just passing a bill, and if passed where would that money go? That’s up for debate.

“Is it general fund, education, prisons, you name it?” Senator Orr said.

Something that could change the outcome though is COVID-19.

“A very complex and potentially controversial piece of legislation like a lottery gaming bill would be difficult to pass in a normal session, but with COVID that makes it all the more difficult for a gaming type legislation to pass,” he said.

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