Tennessee lottery would be fool's gold

Wednesday, February 14, 2001 at 1:00am

Here are the top ten reasons why a Tennessee lottery is a bad idea.

1. Lotteries are a sucker game. In atypical state lottery you have to guess six two-digit numbers out of a possible 49 (including 01, 02, etc.) None of the six numbers are used more than once and you must guess the winning numbers in correct order. The odds of hitting the jackpot in this 6/49 system are one in 14 million. Your chances of winning a multi-state lottery like Powerball are one in 54 million. As anti-lottery crusader Donald Sensing puts it, you are three times more likely to be killed in an auto accident on the way to buy a lottery ticket than to win the jackpot. If all the losers of lotteries were to stand in a line, it would stretch 6,800 miles, the approximate distance from New York City to Japan. If all the losers of Powerball were to stand in line, it would stretch around the world. Fran Lebowitz quips, "As I figure it, you have the same chance of winning the lottery whether you play it or not." Or as John Warren Kindt says in his book Gambling,"The only way to win is to never buy a ticket.

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