Alabamians cross state lines in hopes of hitting lottery jackpot

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Nick Balenger

The Powerball jackpot stood at $675 Million Monday, and lines to purchase lottery tickets stretched throughout many stores. A lot of those lines were full of Alabama residents.

Because Alabama is one of five states that do not have a lottery, Alabamians have to travel to surrounding states if they want a shot at the jackpot. But if an Alabamian wins the lottery from a ticket purchased in Mississippi, the taxes go to the state of Mississippi and not Alabama.

Every Alabama resident we talked to in line thinks Alabama should adopt a lottery, and use the money to help the state. Former Tuscaloosa resident Cecil Bryant said he would give back to his community if he won. “If I win I would give each household in Sawyerville, Alabama $250,000 and Greene county, Alabama, $250,000 dollars,” Bryant said. “I see there’s a lot of rural areas out here, man. I grew up in this poverty, but being from here I try to change my community. Man, I wanna see better things around here.”

The Texaco off exit 165 in Toomsuba, Mississippi sells many winning lottery tickets due to its large number of customers. Being on the state line means most West Alabama residents will travel to this particular gas station for their tickets. Clerks at the convenience store said the line at 9:00 a.m. was all the way to the back of the store.

Governor Kay Ivey launched a task force in 2022 to help study the economic impact a lottery would have on the state, but nothing has come out of it.  It was also not brought up in the 2023 legislative session.



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