Lottery sales hit record high despite weak economy

By: Mario Boone Email
By: Mario Boone Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Tennessee Lottery sales are up by $4.6 million. This despite a sluggish economy and high unemployment. Still, people keep playing, hoping to hit the jackpot.

"I buy one a day. It's just a chance, you never know," said Dwight Denton. Never know how much you could win. Said Stevie Daniels, "I've won $500, $200, $1000."

It translates to a whopping $293 million supporting the Hope Scholarship for college students. Lottery president Rebecca Hargrove praised the effort saying, "our strategies to maximize dollars for education continue to pay off for the students and families of Tennessee."

But is the lottery's success coming at the expense of the poor and unemployed? That's long been the argument by lottery opponents. But it hasn't deterred one player.

"I have gotten lucky a time or two. You don't ever know. If you don't play you don't win," said Denton.

During the past academic school year more than 100,000 Tennessee students have benefitted from the Hope Scholarship, funded by lottery proceeds.

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