New Red River Rivalry? OK Lotto Gets Approval

11-4-04 – Voters in Oklahoma approved the education lottery during the general election by a 65% majority. However, there is a question of whether Oklahomans will stop driving to Texas for lotto tickets.

Wednesday, Governor Brad Henry publicly thanked voters for approving the measure; saying it was the only way to save Oklahoma education. Forty five percent of revenue from the lottery will go to the payouts and after two years, 35% will go toward education.

Some Texas shop owners say they are not worried about the economic impact south of the Red River.

Dave’s Ski and Tackle shop in Denison is the first stop for lotto players crossing the border into Texas. They are one of the top sellers of lottery tickets in north Texas. Last year, the store told more than a million tickets; making them the 14th largest seller in the entire state.

Employees at the shop say they believe Oklahomans will continue to driver south for Texas’ larger jackpots.

The Governor’s office says it could take six months to a year to set up a lottery commission and a trust.