Gov. Locke signs bill bringing multi-state lottery to Washington

Gov. Gary Locke yesterday signed legislation to link the Washington State Lottery and the multi-state Big Game Lottery with ticket sales beginning this fall.
Locke signed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 6560, which permits the Washington State Lottery to join the multi-state lottery effective June 13. Washington is the only state west of the Mississippi to join The Big Game and will be the tenth state to begin ticket sales after lotteries in New York and Ohio join in May.
The governor requested joining the multi-state lottery as part of his supplemental budget plan for the 2002 legislative session.
The state Office of Financial Management expects proceeds from the game to provide at least $24.9 million in revenue for state education and other vital state programs in fiscal year 2003. Proceeds should be $32 million or more in fiscal year 2004 and every full year thereafter.
The Big Game Lottery, launched in 1996, now has seven member state lotteries, including those in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and Virginia. New York and Ohio begin ticket sales May 15, and the game is now being enhanced for the new partner states. Jackpots will soon start at $10 million and more enhancements are expected.
Big Game drawings take place on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time in Atlanta, Ga.