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A friend of mine describes the public lotteries as "a special tax for people who are bad at math." I always liked that definition. There are any number of reasons why lotteries are a bad idea, and one of them is, in fact, that it it preys on people who do not have an understanding of or appreciation for basic statistical analysis. The same could be said, broadly, of many of the participants in the US Stock Exchange, I realize.
Another problem with lotteries is the brazen deceit that is perpetuated by proponents selling its virtues as a source of public money that will reseed regional economies, fund state projects, build schools, eliminate poverty, fund public healthcare, etc ad nauseum. Not surprisingly, there is typically far less than 50% of the money left over for such altruistic aims after the various commissioners, agencies, advertisers, and bureaucrats get there slice of the pie. Money that could have been far better spent at the grocery or any number of other places.And, of course, it has been shown repeatedly that the target market for lottery customers consists of people who cling to the lowest rungs of the economic ladder.
And there are theological reasons that I won't even get into unless provoked.
All that notwithstanding, nearby Richmond, Indiana has made international news this weekend as the sight of the winning $314.3 million dollar lottery ticket purchase. So, hopefully we'll have a new millionaire among our neighbors. I pray it doesn't wreck their life.