Oct 12, 2005, 9:17 am
Oklahoma will become the 41st state to offer a lottery when 1,200 businesses start selling instant tickets this morning.
Online lottery games, such as Pick 3, are planned for November, and the state is scheduled to join the national Powerball game in January.
Voters overwhelmingly approved starting a lottery last fall after Gov. Brad Henry promoted the statewide game as a way to raise money for public schools.
All the states that surround Oklahoma except Arkansas have a lottery.
Education will get 30 percent of net lottery sales the first year and 35 percent after that. The rest of the money will go to prizes and toward the cost of operating the lottery. A constitutional "lockbox" approved by voters ensures lottery proceeds will not be used to supplant existing education funding.
Officials predict the lottery will bring in $65 million for the rest of the fiscal year that ends next June 30 and as much as $150 million a year after that.
The governor pledged never to claim winnings from playing the lottery.
"Can you imagine the uproar if I would win a big prize?" he asked.