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Idaho convenience stores make the case for Powerball

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI)-The Idaho Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association is urging the Idaho Legislature to rethink the House State Affairs Committee’s earlier decision to withdraw from the Powerball lottery game.

In an open letter, the association said the ticket sales are worth $14 million to Idahoans and millions more to small businesses in the state.

“Powerball is good for all Idahoans. Every year, it pumps millions of dollars into the state’s coffers, hundreds of thousands of Idahoans play it, many Idahoans win it, and it helps small businesses across the state,” said Idaho Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association President Matt Berry. “When you combine dividends, commissions, and earnings, Powerball means more than $1 million monthly for Idaho convenience stores. The thought of taking that money away from communities and local economies is frightening.”

Berry said there is enough time in the legislative session for lawmakers to reverse the decision.  “It means to much to our businesses, schools, and state to get rid of it.”

According to the association’s research, $9.4 million of the state’s Powerball proceeds to fund public schools in the form of building repair and maintenance and a bond levy equalization fund.  

In a period of 19 days last month, the association said Idaho saw $741,662 in returns for dividends from Powerball sales, $110,868.75 in retailer earnings, $74,166.20 in retailer commissions on sales, and $36,702.55 for retailers cashing and selling bonus on tickets.  Over 26,000 winning tickets were sold during that time frame, worth over $520,000 and the four biggest winning tickets were worth $350,000.

And, the association pointed out that more than 670,000 Idahoans play Powerball every year, 11-15 million tickets are sold annually, and the state income tax on winnings generates more than $24,237.

You can see the association’s Powerball fact-sheet here.

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