Thinking Differently About Lotteries

lottery
Friday June 21, 2019 04:37 am

The Lottery Lab Staff

Recently, a legislative bill was proposed in Alabama to allow lotteries, but it was voted down. The reason? Apparently, because the citizens of the state have strong religious sentiments forbidding gambling. But is lottery really that bad? Consider the following points and you might change your perception towards lottery –

1. Supporting Retailers

Retailers who sell lotteries earn a commission (5% or higher) on lottery ticket sales. Moreover, there are retailer incentive programs where retailers can earn bonuses on large prize-winning tickets sold at their stores. Depending upon the size of the jackpot, retailers can earn up to $1 million for selling the winning ticket. Lotteries basically let players and retailers win together!

2. Supporting Veterans

Texas lotteries donate a significant share of their lottery revenue toward the Texas Veterans Commission’s Fund for veterans’ assistance. This organization awards grants to non-profit organizations and local governments that address the needs of Texas veterans and their families. Other states including Illinois, Oregon, and Pennsylvania also support veteran programs via lottery sales.

3. Supporting nature preservation programs

The Minnesota lottery devotes a large share of its lottery revenue towards the environment. They support a program dedicated to nature preservation called the Minnesota Environment & Natural resource Trust Fund. This approach guarantees a long term, stable, and consistent funding stream for the preservation, conservation, and protection of Minnesota’s “air, land, water, fish, wildlife, and other resources.” In 2017, the lottery commission hit an incredible milestone of donating $1 billion to support the environment. Similarly, Arizona and Nebraska also give a fair share of lottery proceeds to their local environment and wildlife programs. Arizona is dedicated to the protection of the beauty of ‘the waves’.  Colorado gives all of its lottery profits to nature preservation and so far has given more than $2.7 billion back to protect their land.

TheUS is not the only country using lottery proceeds to protect the environment.  New Zealand uses its lottery system to protect their gorgeous scenic landscapes. The funds raised by lotteries help “protect, conserve or care for our natural, cultural and physical heritage, or allow us to better understand and access these resources.”

4. Supporting Education programs

Most of the states in the US support their education system with lottery proceeds. Consider the South Carolina Education Lottery which was established in January 2002 with the initiative to increase revenue for education and learning programs. They have successfully returned about $5 billion to the Education Lottery Account since then and continue to generate revenue for a better education system. Not only that, but they have also generated additional proceeds for scholarships and other educational programs worth nearly $3.46 billion. The mission of the Californian lottery is to maximize the supplemental funding for public education.

Along with them, other states that contribute to their educational programs from lottery proceeds are Arizona, Montana, and Missouri. These states help students pursue degrees in science, technology, math, healthcare, and engineering.

The odds of winnings are not always great but we still stand a chance to build a better world through lotteries. Even if an individual doesn’t win, he can contribute to the  public programs supported by the lottery of his respective state. Therefore, as long as  we play the lottery responsibly, it is not a bad investment or bad thing to do!