By Vickie Thomas

DETROIT (WWJ) – Would a city-run lottery in Detroit solve the city’s financial problems? One state lawmaker thinks so.

WWJ’s Vickie Thomas reports that state Rep. Dr. Jimmy Womack, D-Detroit, is drafting legislation to start a “Detroit only” lottery. He plans to meet with the state lottery commission next week.

The idea is the brainchild of Councilman Kwame Kenyatta, and it comes in the midst of a Detroit financial crisis that has created the threat of massive layoffs, service cuts, and even potential insolvency.

“I believe it’s going to be a political challenge. I’m up for the task,” said Womack about a city lottery. “When we explore opportunities to revitalize municipalities, we have to take into consideration that often times you’re unable to cut your way out of a deficit and you have to generate income and revenue.”

The Detroit Democrat said he doesn’t believe recent claims that the whole idea would rob money from schools, which receive funds from the state lottery. The state lottery, instituted by a public vote in 1972, has collected about $45 billion, with $15 billion of that going to schools throughout Michigan, other parts going to retailers and the rest paid out through winnings, Womack told 1270 Talk Radio’s Charlie Langton. It’s too early to know how much a Detroit lottery could potentially collect.

“They may in fact say that, but I’m not so sure that we get significant dollars from the lottery for schools. I’ve served on the school board, as you know, and I am a member of the House of Representatives and there are dollars that go there, but I don’t believe that they are significant enough to really generate a conversation,” said Womack.

Comments (240)
  1. Mac Roe Econ says:

    This is just an extension of casino gambling mentality. Its simple to understand and it uses money to make money. Its not about commerce that makes things using people who work in companies. It is a desperate act suggested by desperate people. Its not good for a long term solution that requires solid commerce activity that hires people for employment.

      1. Jek says:

        It is sad to see we have come to this. This is far from a long term solution to anything

    1. pr0f3550r says:

      Lot-tery: \ˈlä-tə-rē also ˈlä-trē\ n. -a tax on people that are not good at math.

      1. Gerbil says:

        LOL! Thanks for the laugh!

      2. biggoofer says:

        Will top 1% will be FORCED to play this Ghetto City lottery?

    2. B. Obama says:

      why not just build a Renisaence Center, that should cure all of detroits
      problems…………oh yeah

      1. Steve Roberts says:

        Or better yet a taxpayer funded, multi-trillion dollar sports palace. that always seems to work out.

    3. Bob Craft says:

      The street numbers game has a better pay out.

    4. george bush says:

      Agree with you! It sounds to me they have a spending problem.

    5. america only for some says:


      The city morons can take the welfare and food stamp money intended to feed their kids and use it to buy Detroit Lottery tickets. They should call the lottery the Detroit One-Percenter Lottery.

    6. America Only For Some says:


      The graft and corruption will help the economy and provide Union Thug jobs. When the stadium is finished tear it down and start all over again. The idea is to spend the money. I now a nation that would be willing to fund 40 percent of the cost.

      One day every American City will be like Detroit.

      1. SerfCityHereWeCome says:

        Soon, every American town, village and hamlet will also look like Detriot, er, Destroit [sic] if Fearless Leader gets his way.

    7. texriot says:

      Very good.Well stated

    8. joe shine says:

      yea Detroit is worth saving like new orleans was rebuilt. no one cares about detroit or the ghetto it has become.

    9. Mark says:

      Just another item to be corrupted.

  2. Lisa says:

    Well you have to be careful because people already stealing money from the city what would be different

    1. danthefan says:

      how many more kwames does detroit have.

      1. John Moser says:

        I’m sure there are more Kwames than Kenyattas.

      2. JByrd42 says:

        Thank you for the laugh on this Friday. I needed this to start my day. And by the way, every inner city has it’s kwames, lashandas, lamichaels, tyrons and leshawns. It’s never ending.

  3. Guest says:

    Aint nothing gonna solve detroits problems
    It would be more effective if this were like the book The Lottery

  4. Guest says:

    Maybe they should allow smoking at the airport again. Charge $10 a pack, and quit annoying all those travellers who are waiting for international flights.

    1. Climp Jones says:

      How ’bout the gov’t just say please before they ask me to bend over

  5. Nick says:

    Bingo. Or, as the case may be, Lottery.

  6. TheTruthHurts says:

    Sad, just STEAL the rest if the money from the residents. LEAVE THEM PENNILESS. YOU RUTHLESS S.O.B.s

    1. Seraphim0 says:

      How is a ticket, that you choose to buy or not to buy for a chance to win money stealing? You’re an idiot.

      1. GKS says:

        Because the people of Detroit aren’t educated enough to know that the lottery is a scam. They just believe its their only hope to get ahead. They don’t have a sense of self worth. They don’t think they can make a life for themselves because the corrupt Detroit city government has succeeded on keeping them on the plantation mentality. Give people something for nothing and you get no productivity. This is Americas greatest example of liberalism at work.

      2. anon says:

        Will the lottery accept food stamps, isnt that what all the ppl left in detroit use?

      3. ex-Detroit Boy says:

        No, no. Detroiters all have a Bridge Card. That’s better than food stamps. With the Bridge Card you can buy liquor, cigarettes, and lottery tickets instead of food for your 8 children by six different fathers.

      4. captain usa says:

        You can buy cigarettes and booze with a brodge card. You’ve got to be sh@tting me?!?!

  7. The Bruce says:

    Given the fact that the lottery is considered to be a “tax on stupid people” I’m not surprised that the city council would make a move like this.

  8. Ahmed says:

    Less money for Kools and malt liquors. Then the residents will rumble.

  9. Tom says:

    15 BIG ONES to the state school system and what do you have……the same sub-par school system you had before. Finding another revenue stream for the politicians to spend is like…….well think about it. Wasn’t the state lotto supposed to be the answer? How about the tobacco settlement? The rise in property taxes? Can they spend our money to prosperity?

    1. freecheese says:

      Put a tax on Gangsta members. That would provide more money than a lotto !
      Also, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to tax the hell out of the RICH UAW and ALL members. Remember Obama’s “shared sacrifice” and “Tax the rich?” I couldn’t find a better place to start.

    2. freecheese says:

      The “problem” with the school system, could best be described as the crumbling of black culture. Throwing mo money at it iznt gonna change da problem, no what I meanz man?

    3. james oneill says:

      This program will succeed in educating the residents in Detroit about statistics and math (what are the odds that Kwame wins), as well as teaching them about micro-economics(If Kwame has 5 dollars and he spends 3 of them on the lotto, how many 40’s can Kwame buy?)

  10. Richard Keller says:

    Great, so now the lazy dope heads sucking up welfare and working off the books, milking the system will finally realize their dream to never work and get rich off the lottery. Unfortunately for them, they have a 99.999% better chane getting rich on their own. Bad habits = poor life.

  11. Average_JoeMN says:

    There’s only one thing that can save Detroit, and it’s sure not a lottery. It’s for the stupid people of Detroit to stop electing Democrats. They’ve controlled the city forever and this is all on them. It’s ain’t George Bush’s fault, it’s the fault of the voters of that city who keep electing incompetent Democrat liberals. Well, you’re getting what you deserve.

    1. Coby says:

      It is not about who they vote for – it is about the race of the inhabitants.

      Detroit is an African city.

      From race flows: the local political shenanigans, the economic patterns, the behavior of residents.

  12. Dennis K says:

    This is another Liberal big Govt Democrat admitting that all their polices have failed. They tried soiclaism now ganbling, next they will try bank robbery? Detroit go back to basics, moraility families not unwed moms, Lower taxes to increase business, not chanse them away. Govt is not a works project where Govt unions negotiate with Dems and then kick back to Dems.

    Let Capitalism, moraility, hard work and low taxes, coupled with God return and the economy will flourish.

    1. Mark Hillyard says:

      The economy is doomed and “all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

  13. Richard Keller says:

    Leave it to the Detroit political elite to allow it’s poor to bet whatever little money they have on more gambling. Most people LOSE. Detroit politicians are complete idiots if this is the best they can come up with. Oh, I forgot – they are democrats!

    1. freechees says:

      They’re aren’t enough residents left in Detroit to generate enough lotto money to buy a new pimp Caddilac !

  14. Mike G says:

    The liberal city government would spend every cent brought in through a lottery and the city would still be in debt.

  15. Dead city walking says:

    Turn out the lights and lock the door, Detroit is finished.

  16. francisco d'antonia says:

    hahaha, this is what you get for voting for liberals for 50 years, this is what liberal socialist policies achieve, bankruptcy…

  17. PC Incorrect says:

    Nuke the city and tray again….. Too many homeboys

  18. PalmettoHawk says:

    Detroit needs to do what everyone needs to do….STOP SPENDING TOO MUCH. The problem will take care of itself by cutting & spending only what they take in.

  19. rikki says:

    What insane stupidity can our “leaders” can come with next?


    Then they will be able to compete in the job market

    Stop accepting Ebonics as a language…..but Detroit has NO GUTS for that solution.

    1. Jerry says:

      You are so correct Rikki!

  20. Justin Case says:

    What would work is a giant bulldozer to level the city

  21. Johnny Cowan says:

    How do these people get in charge!?

  22. gwbnyc says:

    Kwame Kenyatta


    1. scr1bbler says:

      “The rain, it raineth every day
      Upon the Just and th’ Unjust fella,
      But more upon the Just because
      The Unjust hath the Just’s umbrella!”

      – Usually attributed to Ogden Nash

  23. George Johnson says:

    First of all, Detroit is run by liberals. So nothing they come up with will help it. Liberalism is destroying America, has been for about the past 70 years.

    Second of all, this will only take money from those least able to afford it. It is said that the lottery is a tax on the stupid.

    Third, a lottery in Detroit, would garner nothing but more corruption. And I doubt you can handle more than what you already have. This will only line the pockets of the corrupt, and their buddies, and their special projects. Therefore, will NOT help ANYbody, but the corrupt.

    The ONLY thing that will save Detroit, and other liberal run cities, is to get rid of LIBERALISM once and for all!! It’s time to hand the show over to the adults and let them run it for a change!

    1. laffinatcha says:

      They’re not liberals any more, they’re “p, whatever the hell that is…rogressives”

      1. djw663 says:

        Progressive Liberals is just another name for an idealogy like communism and socialism. Obama has done some wierd stuff so I would think that they won’t call it Progressive Liberalism they will call it Obamanism. But it means the same thing. Obama and his thugs very much resemble the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Marx and even Ghandai in the way he rules. Regardless Liberalism does nort have any economic strategy, other than to redestribute, what so ever and that is why liberalism will always fail.

    2. Jay Caruthers says:

      Lotteries are nothing but an underhanded tax, and the poor are usually the suckers who get sucked into playing/paying it….It’s a sad excuse for revenue generation.

    3. Vertias says:

      Really, the Lottery will only take money from those least able to afford it. How is a game that a person plays of their own free will taking money from them? They walk in to a store, take money from their pocket, and purchase a ticket. So, where is the coercion? I guess Caesars palace in Vegas, takes, or robs all those people who through free-will enter, and stay at the resort?

    4. Mark B says:

      Why doesn’t Detroit just follow the advice of Michigan Legal Aid. They are obviously proud of their efforts to coach others on how to get more and more support from people that work and pay taxes –

      Have a car? We can help you get food stamps! Have retirement savings? We can help you get food stamps! Don’t want to have to leave your house to apply for benefits? That’s fine…we can help you get food stamps!

    5. John Paleski says:

      Detroit is an object and philosophical lesson for the failure of Liberalism. We can plainly see this political cancer destroying many other major cities run by Liberals. This political pholosophy makes it impossible for the Liberal elites running these cities to arrive at logical conclusions, namely: out of conreol spending.
      It is no surprise, therefore, that Detroit’s Democrat (Liberal) Representative Jimmy Womack stated “often times you’re unable to cut your way out of a deficit.” This is an outlandish statement to make considering Detroit is tetering on bankruptcy. If now is not the time to cut expenses – duiring a financial crisis – then things are truely hopeless for Detroit. But this is the Liberalism – it’s not intended to be rational.

      John Paleski

    6. Logan says:

      I agree with the lottery being a bad idea as it would draw income from those who have little or no income in this economy.

      As for the liberalism comment, Liberalism is by definition part of what our constitution is based upon if you take a few more milliseconds to think about it…and here’s an excerpt for you…

      “The early liberal thinker John Locke, who is often credited for the creation of liberalism as a distinct philosophical tradition, employed the concept of natural rights and the social contract to argue that the rule of law should replace absolutism in government, that rulers were subject to the consent of the governed, and that private individuals had a fundamental right to life, liberty, and property.”

      What you suggest is that we expect change when no one pushes for change, to accept what others have already decided that we will accept, and that the “adults” are better than the ones currently in charge. Foolish.

    7. Eric Blade says:


      Do you know what “Liberal” means?

  24. fuzzywuzzy says:

    The solution to all the problems facing America today is very simple; STOP ELECTING DEMOCRATS TO ANYTHING! Of course there are some Republican rotten apples, but the Democrat party is FULL of them and the practice of keeping an entire race down and dependent upon them has destroyed generations of blacks. For the last 50 years, I’ve heard Dems promise better schools for minorities and for 50 years, only the unions got the goodies. When are blacks going to realize that their only hope is to change course? NO ONE wants better education for their children than do black parents, and yet, Obama and the Dems destroy every attempt at vouchers. Only Republicans would support vouchers and freedom of choice in education-how hard is it to see that?

    1. JohnJGalt says:

      The sad fact is that now over 50% of Americans are receiving a check of some type or another from the government, which means that they will keep electing their “benefactors” the Democrats and the producers will keep footing the bill in the form of growing entitlements paid for with tax money. Rome here we come.

  25. laffinatcha says:

    I’m not from Detroit, but according to all I’ve read, anyone with money & means has left Detroit so who is going to play a “Detroit only” lottery? With the idiots in city government, who is going to trust that the lottery is run fairly?

    1. djw663 says:

      Why is it that the poor are the main people to win the lottery. Because they are the one’s that play.

  26. Jack says:

    Yes, let’s take more money from people who really cannot afford it

  27. RS says:

    Perhaps we could have the city deal crack and pimp women for money as well.?

    1. Mark says:

      With greenhouses and other indoor farming, the city could at least plant, and then grow, their crack locally.

  28. walter12 says:

    Detroit drove all the white working middle class out of the city. The city has no tax base. Therefore, Detroit is finished.

    1. Steven says:

      They talk about “Peak Oil” changing societies.

      What about PeakYT?

      That is, Peak White People (“whitey”).

      White people (YT) are a finite wealth generating and order-making resource that Black people enjoy living close by to, if only for economic gain.

      From Caucasians, Black people are able to derive an economic standard of living they could not otherwise attain.

      However, Black people are not into sustainable resource management, and very often drive White people away.

      This could be via a political takeover (eg, Zimbabwe) or Black crime (many places).

      Both persistent background crime and/or political takeover are different incarnations of the “Gibs me dat” pattern in Black thinking – short-term, impulsive & avaricious behavior.

      Before the tipping point where Whites start to go is PeakYT.

      Post-PeakYT, black standards of living sometimes go up for a short period, eg Zimbabwe – “Look, Mugabe gave us a farm!”.

      Soon, however, left to their own devices, Black living standards fall in line with the rate of White flight, post-PeakYT.

      Detroit is decades post-PeakYT – the immediate time before the 1967 Black riots.

  29. djw663 says:

    A city or state run lottery what a laugh. If they new how to run anything maybe. A gov’t run anything is bound to fail. They will not do what it takes to be successful. They don’t want to work weekends, they don’t want to work holiday’s, they want their high wages and premium benefit packages.

    1. Eric Blade says:

      ;… you are aware that all lotteries in the U.S. are run by the states?

  30. JT says:

    Will they take food stamps?

    1. Miss Demeanor says:

      I takes ’em all ‘da time. Hehe

  31. JT says:

    Maybe they should set up city run meth labs and crack houses. That would probably bring in some revenue.

  32. edwardo says:

    Demonrats are idiots. a lottery, they already have casinos, suck the money out of the welfare people, then they need more money and so we get taxed more, so they can gamble more, the money goes to the State and Local Govls, who use it to feather their nests, the result is more, more poverty, and higher and higher taxes, which results in more people leaving Detroit, is that possible, i thought everyone who could leave, has left! The US tax payer will pay for Detroit stupidity, under Obama, re elect obama and NO ONE will have any money.

  33. Mothman says:

    I’m confident a lottery would appeal to the Black residents of Detroit.

    All of you arguing “liberal vs conservative” are fools – it’s not a matter of ideology, it’s a matter of race. Blacks have never been able to create (or even maintain) an advanced society, so what do you expect?

  34. JOEL IN IRVINE says:

    That should be the thing that brinks the motor city back. Lottery is simply a stupid tax. A lot of stupid there.

  35. WASPy says:

    Detroit is where progressive liberalism always ends up = poverty, unemployment, crime, filth and hopeless dependency on gov’t.

  36. DaveAgain says:

    If that isn’t the death knell for a political division, I don’t know what is. This is truly grasping at straws. The city, or at least parts of it, ought to be fenced in so as not to contaminate the rest of the country.

  37. Tough lesson says:

    They don’t need a lottery, they need to get rid of the morons who caused this problem ie… liberal freakin’ Democrats. There politicians are shortsighted thieves, looters and moochers. How’s that liberal utopia workin’ for ya? Had enough yet.

  38. Miss Demeanor says:

    Well Deeeetroit you know the expression: ‘once you go black you never go back’? It seems to be true for cities too. Guess it doesn’t look good fo’ da’ home-boys team.

  39. hell in a bucket says:

    How much are the jackpots going to be? 50 bucks? The city has less than 1 million residents, some are under 18 and others aren’t stupid enough to play.

  40. MrLogical says:

    And his name is Kwame. Did I get that right? Kwame?

  41. rulierose says:

    what’s the next idea going to be, setting up city-owned liquor stores?

    catering to people’s base instincts is no way to rebuild Detroit.

  42. GoldenRudy says:

    Kwame Kenyatta??? Really???

  43. jnsesq says:

    Yeah, further erode the quality of life of the general population (if that’s even possible) to make sure the public employees unions take care of their own.

  44. GoldenRudy says:

    Wait… does this mean “Hardcore Pawn” will now be forced to redeem loser lottery tickets???

  45. Daniel Morgan says:

    A city full of people on welfare and this politician thinks that gambling is the answer? Sorry Rep. Dr. Jimmy Womack, but you are not playing with a full deck. The city will get better and grow when it removes corruption, reduces red tape and regulation, reduces taxes and develops a work ethic. Until then, it is just like flushing money down a toilet.

    Go back to being a physician. With free health insurance for all, this country will need all the doctors it can find, there will be no need for stupid politicians.

    1. TeaBagTheTakers says:

      Great post……. Seems that we have the perfect Impact Study of how socialism affects a city that was once productive. We have the native Indian reservations that the liberal / socialists have worked so hard to elevate with their ideology but has proven to be a failure. Now we can rule out it wasn’t the native Indians not properly assimilating to the ideology!

  46. Steven White says:

    Detroit is a cesspool of subhuman parasites

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