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The Anti-Lottery

Place these machines wherever Lottery Tickets are sold
  [vote for,

The get-rich-quick appeal of a lottery ticket sometimes overwhelms reason. The poorest people will lose hundreds of dollars hoping to win millions.

These same poor people lack the funds to invest in get-rich-slow plans. Mutual funds, Treasury Bills, and the like are marketed to people with hundreds or thousands of dollars to invest, an amount of money rarely available to someone living paycheck to paycheck.

Enter the Anti-Lottery. Wherever Lottery tickets are sold, Anti-Lottery Tickets are also sold. An Anti-Lottery Ticket can be purchased for one dollar, once the customer signs up for the Anti-Lottery Program. The clerk scans the customer's Anti-lottery ID, and the machine invests the money into one of a variety of managed funds, at different perceived risk levels, chosen by the customer. This machine also sells lottery tickets, and requires customers to use their ID card for it as well.

At any time, the customer can ask a clerk to print his portfolio. an ATM like printout tells him how much money he won or lost with lottery tickets, and how much money he earned or lost with his investments.

Anti-Lottery investors may be restricted as to how often they could withdraw money from the account, so as to keep the funds fluid.

dbsousa, Mar 07 2003

Charity Vending Machines http://www.halfbake...nes_20for_20Charity
A companion to the Anti-Lottery [dbsousa, Oct 04 2004]

(?) Pennsylvania Lotteries - where the money goes http://www.palotter...&lotteryNav=|29752|
It says on every ticket and at the end of every ad: "Benefits older Pennsylvanians". [waugsqueke, Oct 04 2004]

Stock market casino Stock_20Market_20Casino
Marginally related idea [Voice, Jul 10 2014]


       In other words, disguise investing as a game for the working class. Since there's no chance of instant gratification, I don't see how this would appeal to lottery junkies. Low wage earners certainly can't afford to invest when the economy is in its current state.
snarfyguy, Mar 07 2003

       //no chance of instant gratification//
Perhaps that could be fixed. What if 90 cents of your dollar went into the investment account, and the other 10 cents toward an actual instant-win game?

       The dwindling idealist in my brain wants me to point out that in some lotteries all the proceeds are directed specifically toward public education programs (e.g. Florida and Georgia in the US). In these jurisdictions the players _are_ making an investment in their future, of a sort. They are helping to make sure the general public is better educated in the future. This is an important goal in a democratic society.   

       Hey, stop laughing at me!
krelnik, Mar 07 2003

       Can you just clarify (for us Brits not wholly familiar with USian abbreviations) that IRA does *not* mean Irish Republican Army.
angel, Mar 07 2003

       krelnik, what I've heard is that most state legislatures set the lotteries up to benefit the school systems. Then, when the lotteries start contributing, say, $10 million per year to the school systems, the legislatures feel free to reduce spending from tax revenues by the same amount, and end up spending the money saved on other projects or on tax reduction. I'm not saying the ultimate beneficiaries of the lottery revenues aren't deserving, but they don't often end up being the school systems, and they still bear the expenses of running the lottery - expenses that would not be incurred if the money were raised by taxation.   

       Besides, as I think I've pointed out before, if the lotteries actually improved education, they'd eventually cause their own demise.
beauxeault, Mar 07 2003

       //In other words, disguise investing as a game for the working class. //   

       No. Offer an alternative to the Lottery, and advertise it as an investment. I see it as a companion to the Charity Vending Machine, in that it allows people to do with small sums of money what the rich do with large sums of money.   

       Change for change, if you will...
dbsousa, Mar 07 2003

       Well said, [beaux]. I'd also like to add that lotteries tend to appeal to those who can least afford them. Sure, these people have free will and can choose not to participate in lotteries, but keep in mind that the act of gambling, for some, stimulates the same area of the brain as using cocaine.   

       Gambling can clearly become addictive practice and I don't like my government hawking it.
snarfyguy, Mar 07 2003

       [beauxeault] Yes, what you describe did in fact happen in Florida. Learning from that experience, in Georgia they were smarter and wrote the law so that the lottery went to scholarship programs and other _new_ programs that did not overlap at all with the existing budget. Thus there was no incentive to decrease the legistlative budget for education. It did in fact work exactly as designed, and the Georgia HOPE Scholarship program which resulted has been widely lauded as a huge success, and emulated in other states.   

       //if the lotteries actually improved education, they'd eventually cause their own demise//
Agreed, but I'm all for self-expiring tax schemes.
krelnik, Mar 07 2003

       My uncle refers to all forms of gambling as "the tax of the stupid", same sentiment.
RoboBust, Mar 07 2003

       I expected a true reverse lottery, where you have a 99.999% chance of getting a dollar and a 0.001% chance of getting a $200,000 debt that cannot be discharged by bankruptcy.
sninctown, Jul 10 2014


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