[Ed. – I’ve never seen anyone buy a lottery ticket who didn’t know exactly what he was doing. It’s much, much, much more stupid for poor people to spend all the money they spend on alcohol, cigarettes, and entertainment. In fact, one of the most effective ways to leave the ranks of the poor is to spend little or nothing on those items for the first 10-15 years of your working life as an adult. Their objective”benefit” is every bit as illusory as the benefit of buying a lottery ticket. But we’ll wait forever for a ThinkProgress writer to whine that those things must be slapped out of the hands of “the poor.”]
The purpose of creating massive jackpots is because they induce more people to play. The prospect of big payouts spark a flood of free media attention, encouraging people to speculate on how a windfall would impact their life. …
The Lottery Is A Regressive Tax On The Poor
For all the money Americans spend, they get very little in return — particularly the poorest.
The odds of winning any lotto jackpot are extremely low. And that means people spend a lot of money without getting much, if anything, back. Players lose an average of 47 cents on the dollar each time they buy a ticket.
And it’s those who can least afford to lose any money who are most likely to be buying tickets. Low-income people account for the majority of lottery sales, while sales are highest in the poorest areas. One study found that the poorest third of households buy more than half of the tickets sold in any given week.
Profit from those ticket sales go to government coffers.