Tennessee Lottery for Education, Amendment 1 (2002)

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Tennessee Amendment 1, also known as the Lottery for Education Amendment, was on the November 5, 2002 ballot in the state of Tennessee as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. Approveda

Election results

Tennessee Lottery for Education, Amendment 1 (2002)
Approveda Yes 894,232 57.5%

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

Constitution Amendment #1

Shall the Tennessee Constitution be amended so that the period (.) at the end of Article XI, Section 5, of the Constitution of Tennessee be changed to a comma (,) and the following new language be added:

except that the legislature may authorize a state lottery if the net proceeds of the lottery's revenues are allocated to provide financial assistance to citizens of this state to enable such citizens to attend post-secondary educational institutions located within this state. The excess after such allocations from such net proceeds from the lottery would be appropriated to:
(1) Capital outlay projects for K-12 educational facilities; and
(2) Early learning programs and after school programs.
Such appropriation of funds to support improvements and enhancements for educational programs and purposes and such net proceeds shall be used to supplement, not supplant, non-lottery educational resources for education programs and purposes.
All other forms of lottery not authorized herein are expressly prohibited unless authorized by a two-thirds vote of all members elected to each house of the General Assembly for an annual event operated for the benefit of a 501(c)(3) organization located in this state, as defined by the 2000 United States Tax Code or as may be amended from time to time.
A state lottery means a lottery of the type such as in operation in Georgia, Kentucky and Virginia in 2000, and the amendment to Article XI, Section 5 of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee provided for herein does not authorize games of chance associated with casinos, including, but not limited to, slot machines, roulette wheels, and the like.
The state lottery authorized in this section shall be implemented and administered uniformly throughout the state in such manner as the legislature, by general law, deems appropriate.
Yes        ( )
No          ( )

Constitutional changes

Amendment 1 appended Article XI, Section 5 of the Tennessee Constitution.


The initiative was considered a movement that was supported by the Democratic party. State Senator, Congressman Steve Cohen fought for nearly twenty years fore the State Lottery to be established.

Other legislative support: Rep. Gary Odom[1]

On the ground the Tennessee Student Scholarship Lottery Coalition was supporting the measure. Some of the reasons for the initiative* were:[2]

  • Creating funds for scholarships to promote getting a college education
  • It will not have an effect on the sales tax
  • The state is losing money to the surrounding states of Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri and Virginia by not having a lottery. About $200 million a year is spent by Tennesseans in these other states when they cross the border to buy tickets.


The Republican party and the Gambling Free Tennessee Alliance opposed the initiative.

The Gambling Free Tennessee Alliance has four main points for why it opposes the lottery: The lottery encourages corruption and bribery, it hurts children, it hurts the poor and it is bad economics.

Other reasons Gambling Free Tennessee Alliance opposed it:[3]

  • Funding does not go to the operation of schools, just to scholarships
  • It will place added stress on the state budget.
  • For $300 million worth of scholarships, Tennesseans will have to spend $900 million buying tickets
  • A study by three economists in Florida found that states that have a heavy dependence on sales taxes felt a greater impact on the rest of the revenue stream with a lottery than states without a lottery

The Baptists came out against the measure as well.[4]


The ballot passed with 58% in favor of it.


Since the inception of the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program in 2004, over a billion dollars has gone to students continuing their education at the college level.[5]

See also

Suggest a link

External links