CORNELIUS, NC - People hoping to strike it rich by winning the NC Education Lottery have less than 11 months before their luck runs out. That's according to an early morning Tweet by Republican Speaker of the House, Thom Tillis, who later confirmed his plan to end the controversial program on December 31, 2013.
"I have always taken the position that lottery should have never been passed in the first place," said Tillis in a follow-up interview. "That's why we're going to repeal it." The Speaker had just purchased a dozen Powerball tickets and a jumbo bag of Cheez Curlz at his neighborhood Slip N' Slide when he stopped to chat with this reporter in the parking lot. "Now that Art Pope controls all branches of government, there's nothing to stop us from doing the right thing," said Tillis.
Reached by phone, Governor Pope begged to differ. "Speaker Tillis doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground," said Pope, his florid face flush with rage. "And he sure as hell doesn't know what's going to happen with the lottery. My slum stores make big money off the poor suckers who buy Powerball tickets, and I'll be damned if Tillis or anybody else is going to interfere with my business."
Another longtime opponent of the lottery, Christian Representative Paul Stam, said he has had a change of heart. "I have often argued that the lottery is an abomination, but now that Republicans are in power, we have come to see it as good public policy. The lottery is an effective tool for ensuring that our economy has plenty of poor, uneducated workers to run the cash registers in Mr. Pope's stores," he said. "The Bible says 'Blessed are the poor' and, in my book, that means the more poor the better!"
Asked whether or not the GOP stance was hypocritical, Stam took issue. "The General Assembly in the process of rewriting the Bible to remove hypocrisy as a sin," he said. "Indeed, hypocrisy is a central tenet of our party's operating model. We wouldn't be where we are today if we worried about keeping our word."