Democrat Dean Florez says offering the gasoline prize would entice more people to buy lottery tickets and raise more money for schools, which get a portion of their funding from lottery sales.
In a letter to the director of the California Lottery, Florez says now is an ideal time to offer the awards. It's the middle of the summer travel season, and gas prices are soaring toward $5 a gallon throughout California.
Florez's free-gas suggestion is one of many proposed changes this year to the lottery.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed leasing the lottery based on future revenue, which he says could be increased if it expanded its offering of games. The governor wants the lottery lease to help the state close its $15.2 billion budget deficit.