The dark truth behind mega million lotteries

If you’ve ever been in a drug or convenience store and waited behind people gaming lottery tickets you may have noted an air of desperation or addiction in the players.  Odds are you’d probably be right.  As income-disparity has widened, mega-million prize pots are attracting the highest proportion of cash flow from low income families ever. At the same time, prizes have soared because the odds of winning big has plunged.  And far from living the dream, large payouts ending in waste, heartache and ruin for the winners is the norm.  As for government or charitable revenues collected from gaming, it frequently doesn’t end up in its advertised social programs. Widespread, easily accessible gambling is costing us all.  See Powerball’s $1.3 billion swindle of Americans:

In October, the consortium of states that runs Powerball approved a series of rule changed that made it much harder to win the jackpot. Under the new rules you select five of 69 numbers, up from five out of 59 numbers. The choices for the Powerball was actually reduced from 35 to 26. Still, this decreased the odds of winning the jackpot from 1 in 175 million to 1 in 292 million…

Lotteries promise the low-income people who make up the biggest portion of ticket buyers that they’ll win either through a payout or increased services. But most of the time, neither is true. As one study put it, “lotteries set off a vicious cycle that not only exploits low-income individuals’ desires to escape poverty but also directly prevents them from improving upon their financial situations.”

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