Alabama lottery could impact Tennessee businesses - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Alabama lottery could impact Tennessee businesses

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Loyal scratch-off lottery ticket customers of Rudder's Market in South Pittsburg say it's the luckiest store in the area. And the evidence of their winnings is posted throughout the store. 

"It's just a random chance to maybe get lucky sometime," David Riggs said. 

Many customers, like Riggs, come to Tennessee from Alabama just to play the lottery. Rudder's Market is less than half a mile away from the state line. 

"We're the first store that you come to after you cross the state line so we see a lot of people from Alabama the Stevenson and Bridgeport-areas," Rudder's Market Associate Keily Phillips said. 

Alabama is one of six states in the country without a lottery but that could soon change. A measure recently cleared its first hurdle in the Alabama Legislature which would ultimately put the decision to create a state lottery in the hands of voters. 

"I'm sure we'd lose a lot of lottery customers. I mean, hopefully we wouldn't lose a whole lot but I'm sure people would be buying them in Alabama," Phillips said. 

A new lottery could take away business from places like Rudder's in Tennessee and open up revenue for those like PK Patel and his store a couple miles away in Alabama. 

"Maybe people will be happen and spend more money with me and my store and it could with growing business," Patel said. 

Many of the details surrounding the lottery still have to be worked out like how the proceeds would be used. 

Those we talked to would like to see the money benefit education and roads.

"I have a daughter that's in 9th grade, so she'll be going to college soon and I would love for her to get some kind of lottery scholarship," Phillips said. 

"I see a lot of roads that need some tending to and if the money could go there and offer some construction and some paving. That would be wonderful," Riggs added. 

The bill will have to be passed by the senate before it can head to the ballot in November. 

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