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Mixed reaction on Tennessee Lottery warning proposal

12:15 AM, Jan 12, 2013   |    comments
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Imagine a warning, similar to cigarettes or alcohol, on the Tennessee Lottery. That's what a Middle Tennessee lawmaker proposed Thursday in the state Senate, leaving a mixed reaction to some lotto players in Knoxville.

Davidson County Senator Jim Summerville (R) wants to put a warning on all Tennessee Lottery billboards, radio and TV commercials, and other forms of advertising with this message: "Warning: You will probably lose money playing the lottery."

Sen. Summerville told The Tennessean, "We have warnings on cigarettes, and we should have warnings about lottery tickets," and added "States that sponsor gambling should fully disclose the risks."

Katherine Cantrell plays scratch offs almost daily at the Bread Box store on Whittle Springs Road in North Knoxville. This was the first time she heard this proposal.

"If you're grown, and if you have the money to buy a ticket, then you should be allowed to buy a ticket," she said.

Others gave a mixed response to the proposal, saying the warning could curb gambling addicts.

"Some people get a little over carried with it, and spend money where they aren't supposed to spend," said lotto player Ray Vann.

"It's also made up, dedicated to the kids to school for scholarships. So the lottery, sometimes I lose but sometimes I win," said Tyrone Smith.

The Tennessee Lottery does say on most of their ads and billboards to "play responsibly."

Cantrell said that is enough for adults to know when to quit.

"It could be addictive, but it's up to the individual."

10News spoke with the Tennessee Lottery Friday evening about the senator's proposal. A spokeswoman said they have no stance on the issue at this time.

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