The Pros and Cons of National Lotteries
Across the globe, lotteries and prize drawings are giant businesses. They attract individuals with life-changing cash prizes. Further, the proceeds go to public sectors such as education, park services, and funds for seniors and veterans. The Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries served as a key feature of monthly consumer expenditures. The national lotteries garnered $72,649,684,000 in 2016. It’s true that the stakes are high but, the chances of winning are very minimal. With this, one might ask if it would be a waste of cash to participate in a lottery or if this would be a high-risk investment opportunity that is worth a weekly gamble?
What is the status of lotteries in the United States?
The sheer size of the US population plus the popularity of the game signify that American participants must take greater measures in reaching any potential winning. Historically, the odds of winning in the lottery have been at approximately 1 in 176,000,000 – meaning one can have a greater chance of being struck by lightning compared to hitting the Mega Millions jackpot. Despite this knowledge, Americans are still making more than $70 billion investment hoping that they could reach their fanciful dreams of wealth and fortune. This reality is the reflection of a growing trend that sales in the lottery are continuously surging despite the uncertainty of the economy.
Among other states, New York is considered one of the leading lottery spenders. In fact, it generated 9.7 billion worth of lottery sales. The other states listed in the top five were Florida, California, Texas, and Massachusetts.
What are the cons?
For one, there has been an increasing number of syndicates that are purchasing tickets. This certainly proves that instead of being discouraged on the challenging odds of winning, Americans would seek innovative ways to get in their way towards hitting the jackpot such as investing in buying more tickets. There is an estimation that one in three global lotteries is won by syndicates. Be that as it may, the likelihood of winning is still distant in the extreme, raising questions to participants and whether they could invest their money to better use.
Of course, those people who won the lottery were also affected by the impact of winning. Winning the lottery doesn’t necessarily mean that one’s financial future or long-term happiness is secured. In fact, there have been various circumstances that winning the lottery has inflicted serious causes on the lives of individuals and families.
What about the pros?
There were four mega millions jackpot winners this year. The recent winner has taken home $543 million on July 24, 2018. The mega million jackpot surged to $900 million as of October 17.
In an average rate, an American annually spends approximately $223 in the lottery. Majority of people are spending more on the increase of payout. This implies that national lotteries are popular news items rather than a symbol of an escalating gambling culture in the United States.
Another favorable factor of lotteries is the fact that they produce funds for state-funded projects particularly on public education as the main beneficiary from the investment made by the participants. With this knowledge, people who play the lottery are responsibly contributing to the development of the local community. This means that the participants’ annual investment in lotteries is at least making some form of social change.
On every $1 dollar spent on tickets, there are approximately 34 cents invested into education. The 58 cents is being given to the winners through prizes and 6 cents serve as payment to participating retailers for the sales commission.
Now, what can we derive from this discussion?
In the global landscape, national lotteries are often expected to be the subject of controversy. Despite the divided opinion on this subject, the fact still remains that participants are ought to have accountability in playing the game responsibly and spend within their means as they pursue on hitting a fanciful prize. As they continue to do so, we can say that participants have the right to enjoy the lottery while at the same time making a contribution to state and national funding.
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