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State Rep: Lottery could soon be focal point for Alabama Legislature

A bill to possibly create a lottery in Alabama is being talked about in the state legislature.

Posted: Mar 13, 2019 10:45 PM
Updated: Mar 13, 2019 10:51 PM

A lottery in Alabama could be a step closer to becoming a reality. State Representative Mac McCutcheon, who represents North Alabama, said state senators are talking through the terms of a lottery bill right.

Right now, there are still plenty of unknowns about where money from the lottery would go, but there is a push to put the money toward education. McCutcheon told WAAY 31 he's seen a major shift in what people in North Alabama think of a lottery in the past few years.

All you have to do is walk through the door of a convenience store to see that difference first hand. Sushant Ghimirey is the assistant manager of a convenience store in Huntsville. Any time there is a big jackpot for the lottery, he talks to his customers about it, "Pretty much like 70 percent are for it," said Ghimirey.

Felisa Crutcher is one of the customers who wants the lottery, "I will walk right across the street to the store to play some money on the lottery," said Crutcher.

Representative McCutcheon said he won't pass judgment on a potential lottery until he can read the details of a bill presented to the house. He told WAAY 31 there are certain possibilities being floated around for what the money will go to. The top possibility is funding for education. He will push for the people of Alabama to vote and decide on the issue instead of the legislature in Montgomery.

Ghimirey knows the purpose of the lottery would be to pay for things like education, but they are drooling over the possible economic impact for their business, "Pretty much, they would not only be buying the lottery ticket, but they would be kind of thirsty, or they feel like grabbing something to go with it, so I think that would boost the business," said Ghimirey.

On Wednesday, WAAY 31 talked to around 30 people in Huntsville about the lottery. Every single one said they're for it, but several raised concerns about making sure the money goes specifically to something important.

Representative McCutcheon told WAAY 31 that is something the legislature would decide before setting up a vote for the people of Alabama.

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