Tennessee legislators hope for lottery change

Tennessee legislators hope for lottery change

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By SAMANTHA SARACINO
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Some state legislators are hoping to change the way people pay for lottery tickets. Instead of just cash, they're pushing for plastic, debit and credit cards.

Convenience stores like the Ken Jo market in North Knoxville sell lottery tickets every day, but right now, the only way to pay for tickets is with cash.

"I think it would be good. I play the lottery and usually, I pay in cash. But if I didn't have cash and I wanted to play the lottery, I could put it on my debit or credit," said Justin Kinsey, from Knoxville.

Right now, there are 44 states with a lottery, and 33 of them allow buying lottery tickets with a debit card. Twelve states allow purchases with a credit card. Tennessee is hoping to make that thirteen.

"If you want to use your debit card, use your debit card. If you want to use your credit card, use your credit card. So yeah, I think it'd be okay," said Crossville resident Lyle Cox.

While many think the change is a good idea, they also believe that some people would abuse using a card and it could encourage gambling. 

"I think that it's your money, so I think you should be able to do whatever you want with it. So I think it should be whatever a person wants to do," said Cox.

Even the people who don't buy lottery tickets all the time say using a card is far more convenient than cash. Aside from convenience, legislators also want to make this change to help fund the lottery scholarship fund.

The lottery scholarship stabilization task force will submit its recommendations to the state legislature in January. If the changes are approved, they could go into effect sometime next year.

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