Missouri Lawmaker Asks Gov To Gamble $2 Of Monthly Pay To Powerball: The Lottery Can Save Us!

ZUMA Press/Newscom

One Missouri lawmaker has an idea of how to help the state’s bottom line – gamble a portion of Gov. Jay Nixon’s salary each month on lottery tickets.

The Missourian details a bill by state Rep. Mark Parkinson (R) that proposes deducting $2 from Nixon’s monthly paycheck to buy Powerball tickets.

Any potential winnings would be put in an account called “Governor Nixon’s Scratch-off, Match-off Fund,” according to the bill, which gets a hearing tomorrow.Nixon’s spokesman told the Missourian the bill was silly and had no comment about whether the governor would pony up a portion of his $123,000 per year salary for the idea.

We’ve written a bit lately about Missouri’s budget woes and back-and-forth about the federal stimulus program.

State Rep. Allen Icet, who chairs the Budget Committee, told us that Missouri has to solve its own problems. Icet is a sponsor of the lottery ticket bill.

The Missourian quotes the Lottery Fact Book as showing the odds of winning are one in 195,249,054.

More from their piece:

Rep. Joe Smith, R-St. Charles, chairman of the Tax Committee, said he supports Parkinson’s bill, which he sees as a potential boon to the state’s budget crisis.

“I think it’s kind of clever,” he said. “If the governor were to win it would make it a lot easier for us.”

May Scheve Reardon, director of the Missouri Lottery, said her department reviewed the legislation and would suggest two additional amendments: all legislators play Powerball and the governor also play Mega Millions, another multi-state lottery game the lottery introduced in January.

Smith said he didn’t think it would be fair to ask legislators — who are paid just over $30,000 — to deduct lottery tickets from their salaries, but he said it wouldn’t make a large dent in the governor’s salary.