Do Lotteries Benefit the Poor?

Topics: Advertising, Mega Millions, Lottery Pages: 3 (902 words) Published: February 11, 2001
Do Lotteries Benefit the Poor?

Lotteries take advantage of the poor in several ways. The lottery entices the poor to waste their money on lottery tickets, rather than everyday necessities, such as food, clothing and shelter. The main way that lottery promoters succeed in attracting the poor is through the persuasive use of advertisements. Other members of anti-lottery groups believe lottery advertisements are deceitful and attract poor people to its promises. Flashy slogans and pictures of large amounts of money are more than enough to pull the needy closer. These poor people are those that least need to be attracted, because they do not have the money to spend on tickets. This wasted money on advertisements is capital that should be used to help the poor in socially useful programs. The lottery is nothing more than a money-taker that uses advertisements to persuade those in search of money to try the lottery.

The money spent on advertising for the lottery is an absurdly large figure. Not only are the poor wasting money on lotto tickets, but the government is also wasting money on advertising for the lottery. The government only started to heavily advertise when they saw the annual sale of lotto tickets declining. In 1998, the lottery's "sales growth slowed by two point five percent in one year… and new lottery products were created to rekindle public interest, focused primarily towards the poor" (Ira Teinowitz 3). Most of these products consisted of corny scratch of tickets where prizes got no higher than five hundred dollars. It has been reported that nearly 200 million dollars were spent on lotto advertising in one year between the 38 participating state lotteries (Teinowitz 3). "The New York lottery takes in more than $2 billion in sales each year, and it spends $30 million in advertising to keep the cash rolling in"(Joshua Shenk 22). This is very destructive spending, because this money could be used for schools, charities, and college...

Cited: "Needs to end at 64 lines the threat to lottery ads."
Advertising Age. February 8, 1998, page 38.
Bruning, Fred. "Trafficking in false hopes and
Heartbreak." Maclean 's. May 27, 1996, page 9.
Shenk, Joshua. "Everyone 's a loser: how lottery ads entice
the wrong people to gamble." Washington Monthly.
July-August 1995, page 22.
Teinowitz, Ira. "Ads could come up loser in gambling
Debate." Advertising Age. February 1, 1999, pg.3.
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