The Statism of Lotteries

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The other day my wife bought a lottery ticket (New York’s Mega Millions). After confirming that we had not won, I decided to read the back of the ticket. As expected, it’s littered by government fine print.

We learn that the lottery is controlled by the New York Lottery Office (by the way, what a great government program this is).

Then there’s the warning about claiming a ticket: “Under penalty of perjury, I declare that I am the owner of this ticket and the name, address and taxpayer identification number correctly identifies me as the recipient of this payment.” Great, the state must have its own share, too.

And finally, of course, the number of a 24-hour gambling helpline. The state sells us lotteries and also taxes us to fund gambling helplines. And those who do not gamble or do not have a gambling addiction problem still have to subsidize those who do.

Like most state lotteries, I suspect that the money raised in the Empire State go towards a public education fund. Therefore, it would be terribly evil for me to complain about this government nuisance because the money is For The Children (TM) and their stately statist education. I will not complain, then. Not at all. Nope.

3:07 pm on December 16, 2007