Alabama residents cross state lines for lottery jackpot
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Giselle Hood
Alabamians flocked across the state border to Mississippi yesterday for a chance at becoming multi-millionaires after the Mega Millions lottery jackpot, which closed Tuesday night, grew to over $810 million.
Alabama is one of only five states in America that doesn’t have a lottery.
“We need it because all the customers, our customers, go to other states,” said Kaid Nasser, who works in a gas station.
“Special Lotto, Mega Millions, Scratch ticket. The state loses a lot of money because people go over there [to Mississippi] for gambling.”
State lawmakers attempted to pass gambling legislation in the past, but the bill never made it out of the House of Representatives.
State Senator Bobby Singleton of District 24 explained it would take a lot for the legislation to get passed, and it doesn’t look like that’s happening anytime soon.
“It seems like we’re always going to pass it, just one or two votes, and right now the legislature is in a huge turnover,” Singleton said.
“I say I’m not optimistic about the lottery right now, because I don’t know what that turnover’s going to bring.”
Singleton also explained that politicians need to get on the same page about the effect a lottery would have on the state and the logistics of getting the money.
“We just got to be honest with each other. We got to talk about what it would do for the state. To bring a lottery is one thing, but to generate the dollars that are needed for the lottery is another thing,” he said.
This is the third largest Mega Millions jackpot in the game’s history, and the fourth largest in lottery history.
The odds of winning last night’s jackpot were 1 in 303 million. Because no one matched all six numbers, the lottery will be drawn again this Friday night, July 29.