Top Four Misconceptions About the Lottery

The lottery was invented in 1793, and is still the most popular way to raise money for schools. However, lottery-playing has a number of misconceptions. Listed below are the top four:

Lottery is a form of gambling

While the act of casting lots is not illegal, some governments do outlaw it or regulate it. Generally, a lottery is legal if it distributes prize money to those who have purchased a ticket. Governments may also require vendors to be licensed before selling tickets to the general public. In the early twentieth century, most forms of gambling were illegal in the U.S. and most of Europe. Lotteries were not legal in many countries until after World War II.

It raises money for schools

School districts across New York are facing tough financial times. Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a 20 percent cut in education funding. Now, an Assemblyman is proposing a bill to increase lottery funds to schools. While a lottery has a long history of raising money for education, some school districts are struggling financially and need additional funding. However, the lottery is still the best way to provide additional funding to schools.

It is a monopoly

The monopoly of the government-run lottery was justified by the fact that the industry is most efficiently run when a single actor controls it. In addition, fewer big jackpots hold greater interest than many small ones. And as Vegas proves, games of chance are not lacking in popularity. U.S. lotteries have devised their games to encourage buyer anticipation and involvement. Powerball, for example, has a minimum advertised jackpot of $40 million as of 2012.