“It’s an addiction,” chapter President Juanita Wallace said. “Many, many people have actually spent all their money in hope of getting out of a situation, when in fact, they’re getting themselves into a worse situation.”
She said one man she knew died last week without health insurance.
“He had an insurance policy,” she said, “and he withdrew all of the funds from the policy, actually, to play the lottery.”
Wallace also believes that minorities are disproportionately drawn to playing the lottery.
“The way things are set up in the store is targeted for black people and poor people,” she said.
A spokeswoman with the Texas Lottery Commission rejected that assertion, saying the Texas lottery does not target low-income areas specifically and does not market any differently from one demographic to another.
Four $1M Powerball tickets sold in same county, at same chain
“Our marketing and advertising efforts are designed to reach a broad audience of adult Texans,” spokeswoman Kelly Cripe said.
Wallace says her NAACP chapter is already lobbying lawmakers, as are organizations like the Baptist General Convention of Texas that were already opposed to the lottery.
But at a convenience store in Dallas this week, some ticket-buyers did not appreciate the idea of losing the option of playing.
“It’s up to me,” David Anderson told CNN affiliate station KTVT as he stood in line. “If I make a certain amount, it’s up to me: Should I spend this $5 (on a ticket)? Or should I go buy a loaf of bread and hamburger to feed the kids?
Read more NAACP Wishes Lottery In Texas Would End