Lufkin store clerks say lottery relies on poor

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Morgan Thomas - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Scratch-off lottery tickets aren't what they used to be.

"There's even like a $50 scratch-off some people purchase, but kind of like a rare thing," said Chevron clerk Eddie Matts.

But who's actually playing? The latest research from the Texas Lottery Commission shows poorer, less educated people are.

Pattan Patel with MB Food Store says the lottery business is good.

"Mostly popular with local people around here," Patel said. "Living around this area. They buy the tickets."

Matts says his lottery clientele matches the research.

"I would agree with that - that most of the lower income people are buying," Matts said.

But he's not sure if that's such a negative thing.

"They do it just to hopefully have a big winner and life can be easier for them," Matts said.

Darlene Crawford, co-owner of Smokey-T's, says lottery customers may not be rich, but most are in control of their spending.

"The majority of the people know what they can spend and what they can't," Crawford said.

Whatever your stance is on the lottery you can probably agree that it's easy entertainment. All it takes is a quick trip to the gas station, a couple of bucks, and you've added a little thrill to your every day.

"I play the lottery all the time because you never know how God will bless you," Gloria Jackson said.

Playing the lottery seems to make a lot of East Texans happy. Who may not have much to happy about these days.

"It's a break in the monotony," Crawford said. "And it's a bit of a thrill. Because there's not much, not much happening anymore."

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