Booze, betting up in bad economy: Not in FL

By Lindsay Cohen email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - They are the signs and sins of a bad economy: When finances fail, some folks turn to booze and betting -- but not in Florida.

Lottery sales here are down in the Sunshine State according to the Miami Herald. Sales are off by about $125 million, or about 7.5 percent, since July. This bucks the overall rule of thumb, which often shows that sales of alcohol and lottery tickets rise in tough economic times.

"People are going to try everything, taking the chance and playing lottery," said one woman, as she pumped gas at a West Palm Beach gas station. "That's a way to try and do it."

"I guess everybody is desperate, I guess," added another man. "I want to get the millions. I want to win it."

The new Powerball lottery may boost sales and interest in Florida's lottery. The multi-state drawing launches January 4 and can bring jackpots ranging in the hundreds of millions of dollars.