Lottery – The Game That’s a Winner for Only a Few


Lottery: The Game That’s a Winner for Only a Few

Although casting lots to make decisions and determine fates has a long history (with several examples in the Bible), using lottery togel dana as a revenue generator and prize distribution method is relatively new. Since the modern era of state-run lotteries began with New Hampshire’s in 1964, thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia have capitalized on the drastic odds of winning a large cash prize, reaping $42 billion in 2002 alone. State governments benefit greatly from lotteries’ popularity and profitability. The influx of capital provides quick, easy revenues and a convenient alternative to higher taxes, while players’ enthusiasm for the game cultivates a broad-based public support. In addition, a specialized group of specific constituencies develops: convenience store operators, who profit from lottery business; suppliers (heavy contributions by these companies to state political campaigns are regularly reported); teachers, in states where a portion of the proceeds is earmarked for education; and state legislators, who quickly become accustomed to the extra funds.

Two prominent moral arguments are advanced against the lottery: first, that it preys on people’s illusory hopes in order to avoid paying real taxes, a practice known as regressive taxation (taxes that place a heavier burden on poorer citizens than richer ones). This charge is especially true of the low-income and working classes, whom the lottery disproportionately attracts. Second, critics charge that the state’s promotional message exaggerates the game’s odds and encourages irrational gambling behavior.