Thousands expected to enter Longview’s longshoremen lottery

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Though it’s not exactly like winning the Powerball jackpot, those who entered the upcoming longshoremen lottery in Longview, Washington, hope they will have a ticket to a better life.

The Daily News reports the mid-March public drawing is the local union’s first lottery in seven years.

It typically takes years for a lottery winner to become a full-fledged member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21. But for those who persevere, it’s one of the most generously paid union jobs in the country.

At stake next month are 81 jobs described as “unidentified casual.” It’s essentially a fill-in position for when the hiring hall has more work than regular dockworkers can handle. It’s a foot in the door to a job that can eventually pay six figures.

August 2011 was the last time ILWU 21 offered such a lottery. About 5,000 people entered.