The Issue: The Lottery

What would you do if you had a couple million dollars? Buy a new car? Travel? Pay off college loans? The possibilities are endless when money seems to “fall from the sky.” The one in a million chance of winning the jackpot doesn’t seem to faze the hope we cling to as we watch the numbers appear on the television screen each night. But after a few failed attempts at winning, is it time to count our losses or push forward?
Many would argue that playing the lottery is wasteful and unnecessary, however, it is actually very beneficial for many. Since 1985, California lottery participants donated over $24 billion to public schools. However, additional funding from the lottery to public schools extends beyond just the state of California; many other states also participate in this donation process.
Lotteries that are run by governments generally will use funds to support infrastructure development and public health and safety.
In Pennsylvania, the Pa. Lottery gives at least twenty-seven cents per dollar earned to programs for the elderly. The Pa. Lottery claims to have given “more than $1 billion to programs that benefit older Pennsylvanians.” This occurs through funding senior centers, allowing for low-cost prescription drugs, free transit or reduced-fare shared rides, property tax or rental rebate programs and long-term living services. Without the support of the lottery, many older Pennsylvanians would find themselves either unable to properly be provided for, or perhaps they might be stranded without public transportation to aid everyday life.
If you are one who enjoys taking your chances, and spending a few dollars in hopes of hitting it big, then be proud that your money is going towards a fruitful cause. Your lottery ticket is nothing to feel guilty about; it’s a great opportunity to contribute to society and the welfare of others. And perhaps, your lottery ticket holds a bit of reward for yourself!

Washington Post
UT San Diego
PA Lottery

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