Gov. Brad Henry should regularly play the Oklahoma Education Lottery – and pledge to give his net winnings to public schools – to publicly show his support for the state-run gambling operation that is the cornerstone of his agenda.
“The governor should put his money where his mouth is and regularly play the Oklahoma Lottery,” stated Sen. Cliff Aldridge, R-Choctaw. “I am being consistent by not playing a lottery that I personally opposed. But the governor is being hypocritical by having pushed for the lottery and now refusing to play it.”
Henry recently said it would be inappropriate for him to play the lottery. “Can you imagine the uproar if I won a prize?” the governor quipped to the Tulsa World in an Oct. 12 story.
“If the governor is so concerned about the appearance of impropriety, he could pledge to donate his net winnings to public education,” Aldridge said. “It is more likely he isn’t playing the lottery because of the long odds of winning. Oklahomans are far more likely to be struck by lightning than to strike it rich in the lottery.”
* The chances of winning the multi-state Powerball lottery – which Oklahoma will join next year – are 1 in 146 million.
* The odds of winning the $25,000 prize from scratch-off tickets in Oklahoma are 1 in 1,890,000 according to the Oklahoma Lottery Commission.
* The chances of winning the $5,000 scratch-off prize are 1 in 604,000. And the chances of winning the $1,000 scratch-off prize are 1 in 302,000.
* By comparison, the National Weather Service estimates that the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are 1 in 240,000.