The Oregon Faith Report - Faith News from Oregon

Lottery: Any better way to spend $56 billion?

April 4, 2012

By Guest Opinion,
Oregon,

The $640 million jackpot came and went and does anyone feel any better? I didn’t think so.

Last Friday, my local Portland Fred Meyer had 20 people standing in line to get tickets hours before the deadline, “The highest ever” said the clerk. Unfortunately, the aftermath of the recent lottery mania is not pretty. Three people won, but none have dared come forward. Maryland lottery officials have been inundated with false calls. Experts predict a flood of lawsuits no matter who comes forward.

People focus on the $640 million but fail to realize that Americans had to waste $1.46 billion to create that jackpot. Some goes to worthy state programs and charity. Yet by sheer numbers , the lottery is appears to be the worst dilution of a charity dollar imaginable. Part of every dollar goes to administration and advertisement and a giant share goes out to total strangers. This system makes legitimate charity look bad. CBS News reports that total lottery funds bringing in $56 billion last year alone. Is there not a better way to spend $1.6 billion?

One Baltimore woman alleged to have won the big prize has been outed by her own friends who say they have been betrayed. USA Today reports, all of them work at McDonalds and agreed to pool their money into several tickets. The worker who bought the tickets came back and basically said that everyone lost except that she won with the ticket she bought on her own. No one believes her and everyone is furious.

  
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Discuss this article

Jan April 4, 2012

Maybe we need a national lottery with all proceeds dedicated to reducing the national debt. Five million dollar winner a week, not winning about a million and no federal tax on the winning.

Maybe a halth care lottery with all proceeds paying for low income health care, same deal five million dollar winners per week not taxes withheld.

The lottery ideas for fleecing the public are endless. Name the good cause and let them buy, buy, buy.

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