Alabama residents cross state lines for chance at Tennessee lottery

WAFF 48's Claudia Peppenhorst
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 8:30 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Powerball fever continues to rise and so does the jackpot as many Alabama residents rushed to get their shot at the $747 million prize.

In Ardmore, TN, a local lottery store was packed with cars, but many of those vehicles displayed an Alabama state tag. State residents voiced their frustration over Alabama’s lack of a lottery to WAFF 48.

“It’s time we get one. Aren’t we one of only five states that don’t have one? Let’s go Alabama, get with it!” said Jana Johnson.

Johnson said she travels to Ardmore every week to try her luck at the Tennessee lottery and she is not alone.

Many Alabamians are crossing state lines to get their chance at the jackpot, but many do not understand why this can not be the case for their home state.

“Every time I come up here, out in the parking lot, every tag I see is an Alabama tag,” said Jackie Harper. “This is money that could be going to the state of Alabama. Nothing against Tennessee, but this is money that we could use for our kid’s schooling and colleges.”

The Tennessee state lottery has raised more than $6.7 billion for education in the state.

Alabama House speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter said there are several reasons why a state lottery has not been passed, one of them being Governor Kay Ivey’s executive order for education funding.

With the Alabama legislative session starting soon, Ledbetter said there is a possibility of the lottery being on this year’s agenda, but their main goal is educating the new freshman lawmakers on the pros and cons of an Alabama state lottery.

“You’ve got to respect all of the members, give them the opportunity to educate themselves and get as far as we can to see where we go,” Ledbetter said. “I think there will be a lot of conversations. I do think you will probably see some bills that are put out there, but until we can clean up some of the issues that we’ve got it’s going to be tough to get it passed.”

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