A controversial form of recreation is included in the new State Historical Building display that opens in three weeks. Exhibit curator Jack Lufkin decided to include gambling in the list of “100 of Our Favorite Things” which goes on display December 16th at the State Historical Building in Des Moines. Iowa has all sorts of legalized gambling these days: pari-mutuel wagering on horse and dog races; casino-style gambling on boats; slot machine parlors adjacent to racetracks; and BINGO. Lufkin says bingo is actually a creation of this century. It was invented during the Depression by Edwin LoweIn the 1970s, bingo became legal in Iowa, then in the 1980s, Iowa officials voted to make other forms of gambling legal. The Iowa Lottery was passed in 1985. The exhibit will feature the first lottery wheel used in Iowa. Contestants on the lottery show would spin the wheel and could win as much as one million dollars.A slot machine in the display was seized in the 1940s by Des Moines police during a crackdown on an illegal gambling operation.
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