Jackpot

by Tom Gee

Winning the lottery is an American \”get-rich-quick\” dream. Hoping that all of their desires for fortune will come true in an instant, many people buy one or more lottery tickets every week. With such a possibility, can anyone really blame them?

Originating in Ancient China, the history of the lottery can also be traced to the Roman Empire. During this time, lottery revenues were used to pay for community projects. Such a project in China were the Great Wall, and in the Roman Empire, repairs to Rome.

Early in the 20th century, many lotteries were seen as a form of gambling and therefore banned. In the 60’s, however, they were reintroduced and began to parallel taxes as a source of revenue. Many countries from around the world have at least one lottery run by the government.

Most states in the United States regulate their own lotteries. However, drawings such as Powerball and Mega Millions are interstate lotteries. In Europe, lotteries are run mostly by each individual country, but there is one that is pan-European called Euromillions.

The 50-50 draw, in which 50 percent of the profits are given to the winners, is the most common classic lottery worldwide. Scratch cards, an instant lottery ticket, are also popular. Because the rules for Internet gambling rules are less restricting, many online lotteries have recently appeared.

Winning a lottery game depends on a variety of factors and has a low probability of 1 in 14 million. For example, if you bought one lottery ticket each week it would take about 250,000 years to win. When the chances are low, the jackpot is high. The popular game Mega Million has even lower probabilities of 1 in 175 million, but the jackpot is also much higher.

If you become one of the lucky few winners, you would probably be shocked to learn that your prize is not the value you originally thought. The prize that you take home at the end of the day, after taxes, could be only one third of the advertised prize. Just think, if you put the 2 dollars you would spend on lottery tickets each week into a retirement plan, you would have almost 30,000 in 30 years. That is definiteley something to ponder.

To many people, the lottery is viewed as a hope of a better future. It also helps that the revenues go mostly to fund public programs and institutions. That might be better than paying government taxes. Because this way, there is a better chance that the government will pay you.

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