It’s always nice to celebrate an anniversary — especially a big one.
But sometimes champagne or cake isn’t enough.
For the Texas Lottery Commission, the only way to mark the 25th anniversary of ticket sales is a new scratch-off.
“Over the past 25 years, the Texas lottery has generated $26 billion in revenue for the state, including total contributions of $20 billion for public education and $77 million for Texas veterans,” said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery Commission.
“Those numbers are certainly something to celebrate and we look forward to another 25 years.”
Sales of the $5 ticket — decorated in red, white and blue and offering a $250,000 top prize with 25 chances to win — began this week across the state.
Texas lawmakers, some of whom have long targeted the game of chance, even recognized the anniversary this year with a resolution.
Critics have long maintained that the game financially hurts some of the most vulnerable Texans and doesn’t do enough to help the state. Supporters disagree and question where enough money can be found to replace revenue lost if the entrenched business is shut down.
Lottery officials said earlier this legislative session that they are worried about their budget, and potential cuts by lawmakers might lead to fewer tickets offered — and lower ticket sales.
Even so, Texas House members passed House Resolution 403, marking the anniversary and recalling that the first ticket was sold May 29, 1992, to then-Gov. Ann Richards at Polk’s Feed Store in Oak Hill.