The lottery is an enormous business and raises billions of dollars for states each year. It also causes people to spend money they don’t have on a very unlikely event. Despite the odds, people play it every week and believe they have a chance of winning. But what is the real reason people are so drawn to this form of gambling?
Lotteries were introduced to the United States in the 18th century. They were a means to collect “voluntary taxes,” which helped support Harvard, Dartmouth, Yale, King’s College (now Columbia) and William and Mary. Privately organized lotteries were even more popular, and they were often used to sell property or slaves.
The logic behind lotteries was that people were always going to gamble, so states might as well enact them to capture this inevitable activity and make some money. But there’s a big problem with that argument. When you introduce gambling into a state’s economy, it creates more gamblers and encourages them to invest even more money in the games. In this episode of Across The Pond, we look at what the lottery does to an entire economy and why it should be abolished.
The lottery is a massive industry that contributes to state coffers in the billions each year, but it’s also one of the most addictive and deceptive forms of gambling out there. The chances of winning are incredibly low, so you might as well be betting your children will have identical quadruplets or that you’ll become president of the United States.