Should Texas have a lottery?
The state of Texas established the first state run lottery many years ago. The lottery has raised a lot of money for the state and helps keep down taxes. Unfortunately, the lottery is not always beneficial to all the people of Texas. It is becoming increasingly clear that something needs to change. Texas should not have a lottery because it is unfair to the poor, and gives minimal odds of winning.
The average person who plays the lottery comes from a poor family, which means they are living on a minimum-wage income. So most of the people who play the lottery are at the poverty level measured against federal standards. For example, imagine a couple spending $50 a week playing the lottery. Every week they put $50 in with the assumption that eventually you would win four years later, the couple would have invested over $10,000 in the lottery and most likely would have less than $50 in prize money. If they had put the money in the bank instead, they would have eventually had enough for a new car. First, the lottery should be abolished because it is unfair to the poor.
“People have been found to rarely win the lottery, statistically speaking at a p-value of .99 of a chance of winning” (Schneider 5). Second, the lottery should be abolished because it gives minimal odds of winning. The chances of winning anything but an insignificant amount of money from the Texas lottery are staggering. Mr. Schneider is a lottery expert at UTA and studies the statistical chances of winning the lottery. In other words, Schneider asserts that people have no chance of winning the lottery. The odds of winning big prize money is literally one in a million. On average, a person would have to make a million bets to win one, Chances of being hit by lightning or injured in a tornado are much better than these odds. For instance, probably about half of the people who buy lottery tickets think. They have a realistic chance of winning the lottery, when in fact only a small fraction of a percent of Texans have ever won anything significant. This disparity dramatizes the scope of the illusion. And the state of Texas promotes this illusion.
In a real sense, it is a form of taxation masquerading as an opportunity for the poor. Those who support it say it is entirely voluntary and people do not have to participate. This would be fine if the people who made the bets understood the improbability of ever winning anything. Yet, in realistic terms, they have virtually no chance of winning. The state of Texas’ involvement in this enterprise is at best immoral. To conclude, it is hard to find a justification for the Texas lottery except as a form of income for the state treasury.