The linked article is an op-ed piece, but obviously done by someone against the lottery. I’m of two minds over the whole thing – one is I could honestly care less, as it is highly unlikely I’ll be spending a dime on it. The other thinks it’s about freakin’ time. Any time the powerball starts going, residents of NC jump the border to VA to take part. Why should we not get that money and spend it in our own state? The problem is like the op-ed says…that money is supposed to be for education, but unlikely that it will stay there.
Ohio has a lottery which supposedly helps education…but it’s not exactly made them world leaders in education. Many of the schools can’t even claim all their students pass the proficiency exams every year. So what is the lottery supposed to do? Out of every dollar, how much of it actually goes to overhead? If you use the figures that a lot of non-profits do when they’re sending mailers and such, the average is between 13-20% of the money goes to administrative costs. Now, unlike these non-profits, the lottery will probably also have to pay for advertising (another 5% guess?). So we’re looking at maybe 75 cents on the dollar going to education. But not the first year. Probably not even the second. And you still have to provide the pot for the lottery winner, right? For the first several years, the impact probably won’t even pay for the rental of all of the trailers used outside of schools. Then we have to bankroll the building of new schools. We still need more teachers, materials, books, and gods know what else.
It’s a great way to get pennies.