PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) - Alabama residents entered lottery-legal Florida in droves Wednesday, spending their dollars in convenience stores and lottery shops with the chance at a $550 million Powerball.
The rush to the state line comes just days after an Alabama state senator introduced a lottery bill, that if passed, would give residents across the state a chance to vote on establishing a lottery.
“We didn’t get to vote on the gas tax at least let us vote on the lottery," Van Shackelford said. "For 30 years I’ve been buying lottery tickets and I would’ve been buying them in Alabama.”
FOX10 News spoke to several residents from both Mobile and Baldwin Counties who made the drive into Florida for a chance at the massive Powerball. Overwhelmingly, they were in favor of the recently introduced lottery bill.
“We're losing our money to bring it this way, I don’t have anything against Florida but I’m from Alabama," Daphne resident Cecil Jackson said.
The lottery bill introduced by Sen. Jim McClendon would not include other forms of gambling; just the lottery itself. Money raised would go into education or infrastructure needs.
“I have kids, I have grand-kids," Foley resident Roy Queen. "And I want my kids to be able to benefit from the dollars that we’re spending everywhere else.”
Alabama is one of just five states where the lottery is not legal.