DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The Dallas chapter of the NAACP wants to stop seeing low income Texans pumping money into the state lottery by putting it out of business.
In poorer communities, though, the lottery seems to offer the chance at a life otherwise out of reach.
A study paid for by the Texas Lottery Commission says the people most likely to play Pick 3 are those making $20,000 a year or less –– below the poverty line. And people who are unemployed are more likely to buy scratch-off tickets than those who have jobs or retirees, the study found.
David Anderson collects disability but still spends a few dollars a week testing his luck. "It's up to me, spend this five dollars or should I go buy a loaf of bread and hamburger to feed the kids,' he said.
But why stop something that's raking in the money? So far in 2012 Texans have spent more than $3.3 billion in lottery tickets.
"They have this delusion that they're going to win," said chapter president Dr. Juanita Wallace. "I want them to shut it down," she said. "Our people are spending their little money, their life savings away in hopes of winning." The group voted recently to urge state officials to do away with the lottery.
Just compare the North Dallas Lottery District to the South Dallas Lottery District, where there are a greater percentage of minorities and low income homes.
Not only are people in south Dallas more likely to play the lottery, they spend almost three times as much when they do.
Occasional player, Paul Meupe, says he knows the odds are slim. "I bet if I buy a scratch off right now, I won't win," said Paul Meupe.
He was right; he didn't.
Anderson, though, said it's more than just a ticket people are buying, it's hope.
"The hope that they're gonna hit and have nothing else to worry about," he said.
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