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Alabama misses out on lottery fever

(WPMI) Alabama misses out on lottery fever
(WPMI) Alabama misses out on lottery fever

Tonight is the big drawing for the $550 million Powerball.

It's no surprise people from Mobile and Baldwin Counties are scrambling for the Florida state line.

It's been non-stop all day at the state line, and there’s nothing on the horizon to suggest our state will approve a lottery.

Tonight, it's the Powerball. Friday, it's the Mega Millions. Folks from Alabama don’t want to miss out.

“Like today I’m getting ready to play. I got my seven numbers written down. I’m playing for me and a friend of mine,” said Karin Olt, who is from Elberta.

So far missing in action are Alabama lawmakers who to-date have not introduced any lottery or gaming legislation.

The next legislative session begins on February 2.

"I would suggest that there's probably infighting between all the parties that want to have gaming and gambling as to how they are going benefit from any gaming bill that's presented," said Alabama State Senator Greg Albritton.

In years past, lawmakers killed lottery legislation because they could not agree where to use the money generated by a lottery.

“It's everywhere else. It needs to be in Alabama. We are losing a lot of revenue,” said Belinda Black, who lives in Seminole.

Senator Albritton does expect a lottery and/or gaming bill to be introduced. This time, however, he says the debate won’t be over how to distribution the money. He says it will be more about who has control over the money.

“I know there are bills prepared and are ready to be dropped and to be filed, but I don’t believe all of them. In fact, I believe most of them conflict with one another," said Albritton.

If a bill is passed this session, it would then require a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment.

The last time it was put to such a vote was more than 20 years ago.