The official live draw sdy lottery has no favourites; rich or poor, single individuals or syndicates, experienced punters or first time buyers – anyone can win. That may be a good thing, but it also makes the Lottery vulnerable to the same charge of unfairness that was levelled against the Poll Tax – that it is essentially making the poor pay for the rich.
Lotteries generate some pretty impressive amounts of money, and the big prizes are what draws people in to the game. But that cash is not a magic bullet for state finances, and the hefty prizes often encourage speculative investment that can lead to big losses as well as the occasional winner.
A substantial part of the prize pool is spent on costs of running the lottery – prizes are not handed out for free – and a percentage goes as profits and revenues to the lottery operator. That leaves the remaining pool to be divided among winners – a balance that has to be struck between few large prizes and many smaller ones.
Super-sized jackpots drive lottery sales and earn the games a windfall of free publicity on news sites and newscasts, but they also make it harder to win. As a result, the jackpots are rising to alarmingly huge sums more often and the top prize is being carried over from one drawing to the next. That will only further increase the number of people who have a shot at becoming instant millionaires – even if they don’t have much of a plan for what to do with it all.