As you report (“Lawmakers call for legislation to prevent spending of welfare dollars on lottery tickets,” Dec. 16), there is a move to prevent those on public assistance from purchasing lottery tickets. Apparently, since 2010, welfare recipients in Maine have won $22.4 million by playing the lottery.

However, there is another side to the issue. Maine gets about 22 percent of money spent on the lottery, working out to $4.8 million out of that $22.4 million (see Bill Nemitz, “Lottery’s scavenger hunt targets millennials,” Oct. 25). So the state isn’t losing out entirely.

And the simple expedient of checking the welfare status of any winners, and paying the state for welfare benefits already received before awarding any money, would make winners of us all.

Since the money in question isn’t the recipient’s in the first place (according to state Sen. Garrett Mason), surely the winnings shouldn’t be entirely theirs either.

William Vaughan Jr.

Chebeague Island