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Huge lottery spending in Bakersfield aided by ad campaign targeting Spanish speakers, poor

KBAK/KBFX photo

Despite high levels of poverty, Kern County residents in 2017 spent $127 million on the California Lottery.

That sum is roughly equivalent to the total annual budget for the Bakersfield police and fire departments combined.

Sales were likely boosted by a substantial marketing effort paid for by the lottery that targeted Kern County's Spanish speakers and its poor.

Eyewitness News obtained store-level sales data from the Lottery Commission through the California Public Records Act, allowing for an analysis of which neighborhoods spend the most and least on tickets.

We also obtained detailed information of how advertising dollars were spent in Kern County.

This was a two-part investigation. Part I can be viewed in the video above. Part II can be viewed in the video below.


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