It’s not gambling if the State does it. At least that is what they say. Holding state or multi-state lotteries for building hydrogen production facilities and fueling stations is not my idea. One of our commenters, David sent in the idea a few days ago about a blog I had written in 2007 about the cost of hydrogen being less than gasoline.
I’ve been mulling it over and think, “why not do this”? Right now, California, where I live, has a state lottery that pulls in millions of dollars that goes into three things including overhead expenses, education and the winners.
The overhead expenses to run the California lottery cannot exceed 13-percent (which is a bit excessive considering the Red Cross has their overhead set around 9-percent). The part of the payout that the State keeps besides what is taken for overhead or given to the winners goes towards education. This money supplements what Sacramento already gives to education taken out of people’s taxes.
Now, with a state or multi-state lottery we could do something similar with particular lotto tickets going for education while others on a temporary basis (say 10 years) would go towards the building of hydrogen infrastructure. This way people could play and pay without being directly taxed for expenses of building out our hydrogen highway systems.
As of January 2011, 43 of the 50 states have both state and multi-state lottery systems in place. One of the states without a lottery system is Hawaii and hydrogen refueling infrastructure is already being built courtesy of GM and The Gas Company.
The rollout of hydrogen cars in the U. S. has often been called the “chicken or the egg” problem. Car manufacturers don’t want to rollout a large number of hydrogen cars if refueling stations aren’t in place and the producers and distributors of hydrogen don’t want to ramp up and build out the infrastructure if no cars are being sold.
Selling lottery tickets dedicated to building hydrogen infrastructure would put the power into people’s hands. Play the lottery (and perhaps win some money) and help build the nationwide hydrogen highway. If you don’t wish to participate then this is fine, too.
Here are some names I’ve come up with for the new lottery tickets:
• Hydrogen Quick Pick
• Fuel Cell Super Lotto
• H2 Highway Mega Millions
• H2 Fueling Station Scratchers
• Lucky Hydrogen #7’s
On the lottery tickets there could be graphics of hydrogen cars, fuel cells or fueling pumps to scratch off. Or the lottery tickets could be the typical money motivated types with no obvious connection to hydrogen whatsoever, only winning.
Anyway, I thought I would talk about this as an option since it was previously brought up in this blog. What do you wanna bet this idea will fly? 🙂