• Lawmaker wants to ban people on state assistance from playing lottery

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    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina lawmaker wants to ban people on state assistance or who have declared bankruptcy from playing the lottery.

    It hasn’t even been introduced as a bill, but it's already raising eyebrows in Charlotte. 

    The argument is that people shouldn’t be using taxpayer dollars meant to help them survive on gambling.

    Republican Rep. Paul Stam is helping draft the legislation. He told a TV station in Raleigh, "We're giving them welfare to help them live, and yet by selling them a ticket, we're taking away their money that is there to provide them the barest of necessities."

    Johnny Harrison, who bought a ticket Thursday, agrees with the logic.

    “You shouldn't be playing because you need that money. (It) is for important things,” he said.

    Others said not so fast.

    “I don’t think that is fair. I think anyone should be able to play it,” Nancy Morris said.

    Eyewitness News contacted the North Carolina Education Lottery. Spokesman Van Denton said they haven't had time to review how this would affect lottery tickets sold, but that playing the lottery should be fun, and they hope that people play it with extra money for entertainment.

    The big question is, how would this even be enforced?

    “If they outlaw something, they will find a way to do it,” one person said.  

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