Taking a gamble during the recession

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Texas Lottery has reached a whopping $212 million. It's an attractive lump sum to anyone facing financial insecurity. "I'm seeing more sales on the Lotto and the Mega Millions because it's gotten so high" says Audra Coffman, the manager of a local Shell station.

Some believe the end of your financial woes could be just a scratch away. But most East Texans aren't buying that idea.

"I buy one every blue moon whenever I feel lucky" admits occasional risk taker, Judge Handy of Lufkin. "But most of the time I don't buy them; it's like a needle in a hay stack. It would be nice to win maybe it'll solve a lot of problems maybe it'll bring a lot of problems on you".

For example, gambling... a serious problem Frances Brochtrup, a local East Texan, was warned about. "My mother told me gambling was a sin so I never did buy any for myself, until I met my husband and he began to buy Lottery tickets about once a week". But after years of no luck they've learned their lesson...not to roll the die and take a chance during the height of a recession.

"I think some people will chance it no matter what their circumstances are. I just think that if there's any chance that their life could be better they'll go buy a Lotto ticket. You know they're living on a dream anyway. There are so many people that are broke and depressed. That's something to cheer them up; it gives them hope", says Brochtrup.

Hope under the silver lining of a $2 scratch off, to some, is well worth the cost. Handy told KTRE, "If you win I think it's worth it. It's not something I would do every day, but if I could spend two or three dollars on a Lotto ticket and hit for millions then yes, it's worth it. If I don't, I could've bought something else with that five dollars".

But you can bet your bottom dollars that most east Texans aren't playing the odds on such risky business. More than half of all states with lotteries have reported rising sales over the past six months. Lufkin Lotto sales, however, remain flat, and Texas reports their numbers are down one and half to two percent.