The Texas lottery has come under fire by the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, for unfairly targeting minorities and poor people.
"It is the poor people, the uneducated people, who are spending their money on the lottery," Dallas NAACP chapter President Juanita Wallace told WOAI Radio. "They need to shut it down, and people need to use their money in a way that will really make their lifestyle better."
Of course, there is resistance to the idea, given that proceeds from the state lottery are often used to benefit specific groups of people. For example, $2.5 million was donated to the Texas Veterans Commission, which then provided grants for veterans.
Other proceeds are often meant to benefit the public school system or help with government deficits. According to the Texas Lottery Commission, the state lottery "has generated well over $19 billion for the state of Texas since the first ticket was sold in 1992."
The Texas lottery has also given over $14 billion to the Foundation School Fund. But do the ends justify the means? Again, according to Wallace, the lottery "is an addiction."
Yet Texans argue that they should be allowed to continue playing since they are responsible adults.
"It's up to me," David Anderson told KTVT while standing in line to buy tickets. "If I make a certain amount, it's up to me: Should I spent this $5 [on a ticket]? Or should I go buy a loaf of bread and hamburger to feed the kids?"
"The people who created the lottery are the winners," Wallace argued, "not the other ones. 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 told CNN.