Guess who's buying lottery tickets?

While North Carolina’s biggest counties raked in the most money during the lottery’s first week, residents of the state’s poorest counties bought a disproportionate share of the tickets, according to a Fayetteville Observer analysis.

Counties with the highest ticket sales per capita include 12 of the poorest in the state. Only three of the richest counties were among the biggest spenders.

The lottery’s whirlwind debut on March 30 had generated about $36 million by Thursday, according to N.C. Education Lottery officials. The Observer’s findings reflect what some critics of the games have long argued: A significant chunk of a lottery’s proceeds come from communities where residents can least afford to play the odds.

You can read the rest of the story if you like, but you already know what it says. The lottery sucks.


Good thing its not a tax.

I mean, disproportionately taxing the poor would be monstrous.
“Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved.” —Aristotle

This will get me in trouble, I'm sure

While North Carolina’s biggest racial group, White, non-hispanics, has more abortions performed, African-American and poor residents have a disproportionate share of the abortions, according to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Epidemiology, State Center for Health Statistics.

I could go on, but you get the point. Abortion is obviously a plot to decrease the population of the poor and racial minorities. The idea that it is a matter of "choice" is just a smoke screen. It is our responsibility to take care of these people - and that means controlling their right to choose. We must be firm in our convictions and not waffle back and forth from one issue to another, right?

"You don't play the lottery with the game you'd like, you play the lottery with the game you have." Donald Rumsfeld on why North Carolina has a shitty lottery system that gives most of the proceeds to big business and not education.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Failure of Education

If we could only have an education system that taught everyone odds and cost/benefit analysis.

I'm sorry but....

I'm sorry but, there comes a time when people must choose personal responsibility over bad choices.

If you can't afford to play the lottery, yet you do anyway, it's nobodys fault but your own.

Not sure if this is a reply to me or not, but

If this is a reply to me, I have consistently stated that I am not against the government offering a lottery, since I think that people should be able to make up their own mind about whether to play. But I do get upset when people throw their money away in this fashion.

As far as no one's fault, there is something to be said about society failing. Personal choice only goes so far when not given opportunities. And I think that an education that teaches people basic math should be available to all. The question arises when people do not go through with availalble educational opportunities. But that cannot even be completely considered the "choice" of the person involved because of environmental factors that develop that person's ability to "choose". For instance, do many poor children choose not to go to school, or does the culture they are brought up in discourage that behavior.
I am all for personal responsibility, but I do not think it is cut and dry as it always seems.

Yeah, no doubt

But the lottery wasn't a fact of life in North Carolina. The governor and the legislature took affirmative steps to set it up even though they had good warning that this would happen. They created the bad choice. Now that it's out there, it's up to people to exercise personal responsibility in playing. But that's a different issue from whether NC was right to create a lottery in the first place.

Analogy: whether or not a drunk is responsible for his own behavior is a different question from whether a liquor store chain owner ought to target AA meeting locations when planning to build more stores.

EDIT (for clarity): there's nothing inconsistent about saying that the drunk is responsible for his own behavior and saying at the same time that that liquor store chain owner is a jerk.

How about

If you want to go waste your money, that's cool, but I am not paying tax dollars so MY state government can operate a casino! My biggest problem wtih the lottery is that the government is running it (as opposed to a private, regulated business). But a close second is that the lottery will be used to temporarily support education and thereby reduce the amount of money North Carolinian's give to our schools. (Which leads to more people who are bad at math playing the lottery. How convenient.)

That is a moral position

I see nothing inherently immoral about gambling, so I see no problem with the state running it.

That's definitely not the question

There's a long, long list of stuff that I don't see as inherently immoral that I'd prefer the state not be involved in.

dare I ask...


Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

You think the government should get out of gambling?

I have a few questions, but it's going to ramble a bit:
1. So, Las Vegas style private gambling Okay, state-sponsored lottery not?
2. Where is the proof that the lottery will reduce the amount of money North Carolina gives to education? Granted, this COULD happen somewhere down the line, but that hasn't happened yet and it could be fixed.

I wonder what would happen if we allowed....I don't know....Sunset Beach, to turn into Little Las Vegas. All of their income would be taxed, so that money would go to the state.

BTW, I didn't know the state was paying money for this system, I thought all of the overhead was coming out of the $1/ticket?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

You'll notice

That Las Vegas style gambling is absolutely not okay across most of the nation. If it were (or even if it were around here) we might be talking about what a bunch of jerks those casino types were for targeting the poor.

But it raises a question

Why is it okay for the Government to gamble and not for private corporations. I have my own thoughts.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

I could only speculate

But I imagine that a state-run lottery seems a "cleaner" version of gambling, as it is widely available (you don't need to find a bookie, an off-track joint, or a casino -- some people are not off-track or casino people, but everyone uses convenience stores) and simplified (the rules of craps are a mystery, but scratch and win doesn't make anyone feel dumb).

I look forward to hearing your ideas!

Targeting the poor?

Do second-run movie theaters "target the poor"?

The lottery is a cheap form of entertainment and the vast majority of people, rich or poor, know this. We all know the odds are long.

People who have addictions (to gambling or anything else) should get the help they need.

What, exactly, is special about the poor that you need to worry about them being targeted with the opportunity to choose to buy a lottery ticket?

Did you miss

the news about the poor buying more tickets? Or about Raleigh locations being disproportionately located in sections of town that are affluence-challenged?

What, exactly, is special about the poor that you need to worry about them being targeted with the opportunity to choose to buy a lottery ticket?

Bill, you're mixing up the questions I separated earlier. There's nothign wrong with the poor having access to lottery tickets. Whether any citizen chooses to buy or not is her own business. But putting in place a scheme to fund a public program that is: (a) likely to distribute the cost regressively; and (b) systemically skewed to encourage that result is shoddy governing.

In other words, it's not that there's anything wrong with the poor. There's something wrong with the lottery.


explaining to your 15 year old daughter why public education isn't important enough to fund the same way we fund police and fire departments. Maybe we should have slot machines to pay for the National Guard. The whole business of state-sponsored gambling to pay for public services is wrong on so many levels I can't even begin to respond. It's not about morality. It's about equity and commitment.

What entertainment?

My personal observation of NC lottery players consists of watching a handful of folk buy tickets, scratch them hurridly and then cursing. I guess this could be considered entertainment but that seems a stretch to me...

The NC lottery needs to be ditched ASAP.