New lottery game to benefit Texas veterans

By AMY JOHNSTON | KVUE News | October 19, 2009


Click here to watch the video. About 1.7 million veterans live in Texas, but the state doesn’t have enough money to meet all their needs. Monday, a new way to raise money was announced, and the Legislature is gambling that a new lottery game will pay big.”

Monday, a new way to raise money was announced, and the Legislature is gambling that a new lottery game will pay big.

At the Zip’n in North Austin, the lottery is big business.

“Mostly we sell the $10 (or) $20 tickets,” said Salim Mardia.

Scratch-off tickets are especially popular — from one dollar up to $50, according to Mardia.

Now the Legislature is banking on that popularity to help Texas veterans. On Monday, they unveiled a new $2 lottery ticket called Veterans Cash. Part of the money goes back to the state’s Permanent Fund for Veteran’s Assistance.

“We could help more veterans with transportation assistance to hospitals. We could help fund PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) counseling services that are so crucial especially to many of our younger veterans. We could do more to reduce the shame of homeless veterans,” said State Rep. Chris Turner.

Ticket sales are expected to generate about $8 million in revenue in its first year. Here’s where money that will go: 65 percent to prizes; 5 percent to retail commission; 7 percent to administrative costs; that leaves 23 percent of sales — about 46 cents per ticket — for the Fund for Veteran’s Assistance.

“It makes me proud to be a part of the coalition that’s responding to the new veterans coming back now,” said Vietnam Veteran Antonio Faz Martinez.

Even though there’s a lot of competition with these scratch-off tickets, some say this new ticket that benefits veterans will do well.

“If it’s a good purpose, people buy. Right now, the economy is very down but my sales are going up,” said Mardia.

Because, it seems, people will always bet on hope.

The new game tickets go on sale the week of November 9. Veterans Day is November 11, 2009.

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