Powerball promises millions, but millions lost out
By Emily Daly
The winning numbers for the largest Powerball jackpot in American history were announced Jan. 13, and if you played, odds are you lost.
According to the New York Times, the odds of winning were about 1 in 292.2 million. It would be crazy to say that putting in $2 to play the lottery is a good investment, but there is something more to gain from Powerball frenzy than just cash money.
Many people’s dreams could be achieved with that much money. A University of Mary Washington student on the social app Yik Yak planned to use the money to buy the school, and no one can forget the gentleman in the viral Fox 5 News interview that said he would spend the jackpot on “cocaine and hookers.”
People who play the lottery often find it entertaining to come up with ways to spend the money. Sure, most people will never be a billionaire, but that does not stop many from dreaming.
Is the ability to dream about being disgustingly rich the only reason to play the Powerball? Maybe you have heard that playing the lottery helps education.
Virginia is very proud of itself because all of the money that the state makes from selling lottery tickets goes to education. The Virginia Lottery website states that in 2014, 29.7 percent of lottery ticket spending went toward education in the form of $538.6 million, which sounds like something to applaud.
You can be sure that this year even more money will be sent in this direction because of the hectic buying of Powerball tickets.
According to ABC 8 Richmond News, in the past, the funds provided from the lottery became extra money for education, but now it is used to take the place of taxes to provide funding for schools. It is basically a voluntary 60 cent tax where you pay an extra $1.40 for someone else to win $1.5 billion.
Maybe this is why the lottery has gained the unappealing nickname of “the idiot tax.” The good thing about taxes, if there is such a thing, is that it all goes toward taxes. This is not the case with the lottery. If you really want to help Virginia schools you should just pay taxes.
If you are going to play the next Powerball you should know that you are not going to win, schools probably will not be better off and the only enjoyment you will receive is from fantasizing about how to spend money you will never have. Also, you could dream about winning the lottery without buying a ticket. In short, the Powerball is a waste of money (unless you were 1 of those 3 lucky winners), which we knew all along.