Governor Bryant open to lottery talks - - Jackson, MS

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Governor Bryant open to lottery talks

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Revenues are down but hopes are up for a statewide lottery. 

Mississippi governors have shunned the idea of a lottery for 30 years and no governor has even been open to the talks, until now.

"So I just don't understand why we don't go on and have a lottery," noted Representative Alyce Clarke.

Clarke has filed bills to get a lottery in Mississippi every year since 2004. That's why she's pleasantly surprised to see Governor Bryant's statement saying he's open to general discussions regarding a statewide lottery, but added that he wouldn't want to see the money dedicated to a specific expense like public education.

He closed the statement with, "Our children's future should not be left to a game of chance."

"I understand we don't want it because if the lottery should go down we wouldn't have those funds, but we don't have them now," noted Clarke. "So, in my opinion, we are at a bigger chance than that would be."

Most we spoke with say they see the potential benefit of the money staying in the state.

"Me and my wife go across state lines to pick up a Powerball or Mega Millions," said Jody Langham. "We take a chance on it. But like I said, the state of Mississippi with revenue."

"My main concern is if the lottery money is going to be used for something good," added Dennis Dyse. "The last time we had the casinos, the money was supposed to go to school system and now the school systems are still needing money."

Some opponents have also cited religious beliefs as the reason they don't want to allow a lottery.

Representative Clarke has already asked that this year's version of lottery bill be drafted.

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