Gov. Ben Nelson hopes to implement a state lottery by the summer, according to spokesman Phil Richmond.

In the Nov. 3 election, voters approved a constitutional amendment authorizing a state lottery, Richmond said. The Nebraska Legislature is expected to consider the issue during the next session, which begins Jan. 6.

Richmond said a lottery is projected to raise $65 million a year. After paying lottery operating costs and jackpots, Nebraska would reap a profit of about $19.5 million, Richmond said. Half of the profit would provide funding for schools, while the remainder would pay for environmental projects and local solid waste projects.

Nelson has said he is willing to consider Iowa's suggestion to offer Nebraskans a shared state lottery jackpot, consisting of Iowa and Nebraska funds, according to Richmond. However, the spokesman added that no formal meetings between officials from the two states have been scheduled.

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