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Using HOPE’s instability as justification, casino advocates last year resurrected efforts to change gambling laws. MGM Resorts International hired an army of 16 lobbyists to drum up support, emphasizing that Georgians already spend an estimated $346 million each year rolling the dice in nearby states.
In a recent interview, Rep. Evans chatted with us about how she would like to see the scholarship program retooled, the potential role of casinos in shoring up the state’s academic scholarship program, and why the state would benefit from providing some students with needs-based aid.
Lottery tickets are not a big line item in our household budget. We have a tradition of buying scratch-and-win tickets for everyone who joins us at Christmas Eve dinner. No one remembers quite how this ritual started, but it seems to have phased in around the time we were phasing out Santa. Perhaps we replaced dreams of sugar plums with fantasies of hitting the jackpot. In any case, this holiday custom sets us back about $25. And of course, whenever there’s a huge Powerball prize at stake, I fork over five or ten bucks for the pool at work, unable resist the enthusiasm of our office manager, Mary Lyon, who talks about her plans to buy a villa in Tuscany. So, on average, I chip in thirty or forty dollars a year to the Georgia Lottery revenue stream.
In our December 1998 issue, we profiled Zell Miller as he prepared to leave the Governor's Mansion, and described how he had a particular knack for giving a good eulogy.