In this Nov. 11, 2012, file photo, Nebraska lottery employees work at the terminal in Omaha, Neb.
Nebraska lottery employee David Fuchs holds up the winning ticket of the lottery.
In this Nov., 11, 2016, file picture, Nebraska Lottery employee David Feuch waits in line at the Omaha-Nebraska State Fairgrounds in Omaha.
The Nebraska lottery is expected to have $1.4 billion in cash and stock after the state’s first-ever draw in December.
At a news conference on Friday, Nebraska Gov.
Pete Ricketts said he’s hopeful the state will generate enough money to keep it afloat for two years.
It will cost Nebraska $5.2 billion to run the lottery through Jan. 1, 2018, he said.
“This is the best possible time to have the state run a lottery in our state,” he said at a news briefing.
The state has about $8.4 million available to it to operate the state lottery, and a little more than $1 million is earmarked for it to pay employees, Ricketts added.
A federal judge on Friday ordered the state to make more than it had requested.
It must provide about $2.2 million of the money and have it delivered by Dec. 15, according to the court’s order.
Fuchs, who has worked for the lottery since the lottery began operating in 1992, said he’d been working the lottery for nearly a decade.
“The last couple of years, I’ve been working on this for six years,” he told Bloomberg TV.
“It’s been great.
I’ve had a lot of fun.”
In the meantime, he and his colleagues are hoping that the lottery’s first draw, expected on Dec. 16, will be a “major boost” to their businesses.
They’re betting that the draw will lead to higher ticket sales and higher cash flows for the state.
The lottery is the only state in the country with an open-ended lottery that runs on the same day every year.
When Nebraska opened the lottery in 1991, it was expected to be the largest lottery in the nation, with annual revenue of $4 billion.
Its annual revenues have since fallen, though, and its cash flows have grown as more people have bought lottery tickets and the number of draw-ons has dwindled.
Nebraska was among 10 states with lottery machines in use when Ricketts took office in January 2013, and he said the state is on track to get a full-fledged lottery running again.
He said the lottery will be open for business as normal, although he’s hoping it can get a temporary halt while he looks into whether it can continue operating after Jan. 15.
“We’re going to be operating for the next year or so, and we’re going see what happens,” he added.