The odds are pretty darn high that I’ll lose the $540 Mega Million lottery; in fact, the odds are 1:175,000,000. But the way I figure it is if I don’t buy a ticket, those odds go up dramatically.
But here in Alabama, we’re all losers every single time we vote down a lottery. Nearby states recognize that funds generated from lotteries meet a need that isn’t being met elsewhere. Georgia gets 30 cents on the dollar to benefit the HOPE scholarship and preschool programs; while the number seems low, it adds up. Tennessee claims more than $2.2 billion has been raised for education since its start-up in 2004. What does Alabama claim? Moral rectitude. Self-righteousness has never yet paid the bills.
Opponents of a lottery claim that the money generated from lotteries is a poor man’s tax. Living in Alabama, I’ll tell you what’s a poor man’s tax—sales tax, rather than property, that funds education—a sales tax including a tax on groceries. What a ridiculously ineffective way to run the business of education. What a shameful way.
But, getting back to the business at hand—that of winning a lottery—I hear that my chances of being attacked by a shark or hit by lightning are better . . . but I’d really prefer to win the lottery.
After all, I’m willing to bear the burden of a pot of gold.