You Can Gamble in Las Vegas, But You Can’t Buy a Lottery Ticket There

Someone could be $117 million richer when the Powerball numbers come up Saturday night, but to buy a ticket Nevada residents have to drive to another state. That’s because the lottery is against the law in Nevada. That might seem strange, since Nevada has one of the biggest gambling Meccas in the world. The reason for the absence of the lottery is because the gaming industry in the state doesn’t want the competition. A prohibition on the state lottery was placed in Nevada’s constitution at statehood in 1864. So, while fortune seekers in 44 states can head to their local convenience store to pick their lucky Powerball numbers, Nevada residents have to cross a state line — but not to Utah. That's because Utah, along with Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, and Mississippi also has no state lottery.