(CA Lottery) 19-year-old Rosa Dominguez was recently driving home from Arizona when she decided to make a pit-stop at a gas station in Paso Robles. While there, she decided to buy a few Scratchers®, and one of those was a $5 Power 5’s ticket that would change her life. Dominguez scratched that ticket and discovered she’d won the top prize of $555,555! “I was so nervous I just wanted to cry,” she shared.
A few days later, still reeling from the emotion of winning over half a million dollars, Dominguez stopped at a local gas station and decided, why not try her luck with a $5 Lucky Fortune Scratcher? Well, Dominguez did it again. She purchased a single $5 ticket which turned out to be worth the top prize of $100,000!
This is absolutely looney tunes. You know how much money I have spent on lottery tickets and won nothing? Maybe $100 maximum, I don’t gamble. I’m smarter than that. But then it’s people like Rosa that really make me question if I’m really just being dumber than that. Should I be spending my cash on lotto tickets? Probably not. I tried doing research on the statistics of winning lottery tickets and the evidence simply does not exist online. Like some sort of black curtain hiding the inevitable downfalls of their industry, like poultry.
The North American lottery system is a $70 billion-a-year business, an industry bigger than movie tickets, music, and porn combined. Lotteries were used to fund the American colonies and helped bankroll the young nation. Since 1964, when New Hampshire introduced the first modern state lottery, governments have come to rely on gaming revenue. Forty-three states and every Canadian province currently run lotteries. In some states, the lottery accounts for more than 5 percent of education funding.
However, high-frequency players tend to be poor and uneducated, which is why critics refer to lotteries as a regressive tax and also why I have convinced myself not to look twice at the counter when I’m buying my seltzer water at Stewerts. In a 2006 survey, 30 percent of people without a high school degree said that playing the lottery was a wealth-building strategy. On average, households that make less than $12,400 a year spend 5 percent of their income on lotteries. And for that, I’m out.
But then I think of people like Rosa and I can do nothing but shake my fists at the sky.
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