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Press Secretary Gets Lottery Bug

May 20, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A sudden case of Powerball fever made presidential spokesman Mike McCurry 24 minutes late in starting Wednesday’s White House briefing.

``I was staying in line at our local 7-Eleven to buy Powerball tickets,″ McCurry told reporters as he took the podium in the White House briefing room.

McCurry didn’t reveal what he would do if he had the winning numbers in Wednesday’s $175 million drawing, the largest jackpot ever in the United States.

But, he said, ``you could effectively conclude my service here at this podium would come to an abrupt end.″

Of course, McCurry was up against the same 80 million-to-1 odds as all of the other Powerball players in the District of Columbia and 20 states that participate in the game.

And he potentially faced the disapproval of his boss _ McCurry said President Clinton opposed statewide lotteries as governor of Arkansas because of ``the regressive nature of income derived from state lottery programs.″

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