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EconoMeter: Does the lottery have any economic benefit?


Diana McCabe, SAN DIEGO U-T

Friday, April 6, 2012

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Kelly Cunningham, National University Systems
Answer: NO

At least not efficiently and for relatively little in return. Lotteries sell the hope of winning huge sums of money with astronomically high odds against winning. People who do not have much money are more likely to buy tickets with hope of a better life. Therefore, people needing their hard earned money the most are more likely to buy tickets. Raising revenues from those with the least amount of money is a very regressive way to collect taxes. California lottery revenues supplement, not substitute, for state and local tax funding contributing less than 2 percent to the state’s education budget.