Lottery turns ten years old - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lottery turns ten years old

July 2, 2003

Albany- Lindsey Hart was only nine years old when Georgia voters approved the lottery in 1993. Ten years later, Lindsey's happy about the lottery and the Hope Scholarship.

 "I couldn't go to school without it," Hart said.

 Lindsey's beginning her second year at Darton College. And without the money that comes from people buying Fantasy Five and Mega-Million tickets, she wouldn't be working towards a career in advertising.

"I know I would be working full-time somewhere. Hopefully it wouldn't be Burger King, but, you know, anywhere, so the Hope has helped a lot."

And Lindsey's part of a large group that feels the same way.

At the end of fiscal year 2002, more than 9 billion dollars had been paid in state lottery prizes. As of the end of June, 1.9 billion dollars has been paid in Hope scholarships. Dougherty County students alone have gotten more than 28 million dollars.

But still, lottery opponents are out there.

"The lottery has done a lot for education, but unfortunately we don't look at the other side, that mostly the poor play," said Alex Kendrick, a Sherwood Baptist associate pastor.

Kendrick says everyone wants to improve education but some don't like how it's getting done.

"Even scripture says it's not our job, nor should we seek to get rich quickly and that's what the lottery is all about."

But rich or poor, from Lindsey's perspective, she's just glad anybody plays at all.

 "I'm a lucky person, I can say, for all these people donating to my college fund."

So she can take her Hope Scholarship and finish her four-year degree.

posted at 10:53 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com

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