Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Oklahoma Lottery Opens Today



And you'd think it's the biggest thing to happen to this state since oil.

Well, I won't be one of those sad people drooling at the door of their nearest corner store when the lottery fires up first thing this morning.

Personally, I'm pretty ambivalent on state lotteries. I pretty much consider them a tax on the stupid, and since this is somewhat of a free country, people are free to be as financially stupid as they want to be. I'd like to think I've developed some understanding of the power of a dollar over the last few years.

Recent nights of local evening news have been absurd, though. Every other story is lottery-related: Viewer emails concerning the lottery. Sound bites from store owners who aren't yet able to sell lottery tickets. Interviews with "folks on the streets" who say the lottery is sure to save this state from ... something. Tonight's newscast on one local station actually had a "Countdown to the Lottery" clock pasted to the lower left corner of the screen. So very, very pathetic.

Yes, the money from this thing is supposed to help fund the education system in this state. And that system needs bigtime help, I can assure you. But the pessimist in me says that (1) the lottery won't bring in near as much money as the politicians told us it would ($150 million per year for education, if you're curious), and (2) those same politicians will somehow find a way to "reallocate" a substantial portion of lottery funds to some purpose other than education.

But hey — at least pawn shops, payday lenders, and check-cashing establishments are banned from selling lottery tickets.

Like that's going to stop any of their patrons from playing. Please.

Oklahomans are going nuts over this thing, and all I can do is shake my head. Will I or my wife buy a ticket or two sometime? Yeah, I imagine so. But having a state lottery is not something I've looked forward to, as it seems that many of my peers have done.

Here's hoping that no matter what, the public schools benefit financially.

And substantially.

— Posted by Michael @ 12:02 AM








8 Comments:
 

I'm with you. It's:

1. Sad.

2. A losing financial proposition for the players.

3. Likely the politicians will get their hands on it and spend it another way.

 

Even if 100% of the money goes to education and it makes 100% of the projected earnings, check later for how much of the current state budget that goes to education still goes there. From what I've seen in Texas, if the lottery kicks in $150 million, that just means that it replaces $150 million that used to go to education from the general budget.

You don't really think that politicians are going to put that kind of increase in education, do you? Education spending doesn't pay back in campaign contributions as well as pork projects does.

 

Probably what upsets me the most is the double standard in most states - the government can run a gambling operation, but the private sector cannot.

 

Hypocrisy in government upsets you? ;)

Every once in a while a friend of mine and I coordinate on buying a few lottery tickets. But in our minds it's (somehwat jokingly) categorized as "donation to education" and in our pockets it's categorized as "gone" :)

This OK lottery fever does seem a bit sad though...

 

I was raised to believe that it's wrong to play the lottery because it creates a sense of deserving without any labor, and a constantly unfulfilled envy of other, richer people. Basically, it sucks people's money and their energy, making them wish that things were better but keeping them from actively trying to make things better themselves.

Anyway, I played the lottery once. As soon as I turned 18, I bought one scratch-off lottery ticket. Thank goodness it was a loser, because it kept me from ever playing again.

 

Yeah. You how much money you'd have if you put a dollar into savings every time you heard about the lottery? That's the only way you win.

 

I have been receiving mails on winning a lotto,fame lotto fotr instance and recently a swiss lotto.When I saw the figure,it looked incredible and I checked out.Ultimately the reply was,your lotto prize money will be processed by an Attorney and this is the fee you have to send before.I just asked about the genuinity of the mail which again and gain confirmed that I have won millions of dollars.
Sad and strange.The result was zero.

 

There are smarter ways of playing the lottery. I would like to point out a very cool program that I am a member of. Basically, you can get paid to play the lottery which is VERY cool. If you check out LottoMagik.com and click on ďIncomeĒ it explains everything. To be a captain sounds expensive ($50 a month) but with just two team captain referrals you are already getting paid to play the lottery every month. Plus, since you are on a team, you increase your odds of winning. Iím not saying you have to join, or that you even have to give it the time of day. Iím just letting you know that there are options out there for playing the lottery smartly.

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