It’s gonna take a lotto luck (reprise)

As a voter, I wrote the state representative and senator who represent me in Jackson — urging them to vote no on the lottery. I got no response from one of them — and one response from the other. The other who responded assured me there would be a vote of no from that person. If I said the politician’s name, you’d likely know it.

Despite my concerns, the majority does rule — and the majority approved plans for a state lottery. With no turning back and plans going full speed ahead, what’s next?

There are two big things to think about. Here’s the first. If you hear proponents sing the praises of the lottery and note how it will help improve schools, infrastructure, etc., please take it all with a grain of salt.

As a refresher, let’s revisit this episode of the short-lived reboot of the classic quiz show “Now You See It” and cue the episode up to the 6:37 mark for a quick math lesson from the Ohio Lottery.

Going forward, if your school’s PTO makes plans for a spring festival in addition to the annual fall festival, you’ll know the Mississippi Lottery isn’t helping.

If school districts near you put levies and/or bond issues up for voters’ approval, you’ll know the Mississippi Lottery isn’t helping. Levies and bond issues were a combined thing when I lived in the Dayton area for most of the 1980s.

If you’re not seeing construction signs and orange and white barrels near roads and bridges that still show their age, you’ll know the Mississippi Lottery isn’t helping.

The other big thing to think about can be summed up in two words. Play responsibly.

If you have the money to burn on lottery tickets, good luck. As the punny title to this and the original post implies, you’ll need it. If you can’t spare the dimes, don’t.

Going back to my days in Ohio, I remember a time the long-running lottery game show “Cash Explosion” was in its infancy. It’s still on the air today, despite being canceled for “Make Me Famous, Make Me Rich” and only to be resurrected a year later.

Circa 1988, I can still remember seeing a lady at the service counter of a grocery store buying a scratch-off ticket for a chance to play for the then top prize of $50,000. As I recall, if a lottery player scratched off the ticket and uncovered the word “entry” in triplicate, that lucky person is one step closer to playing for the big money. If not, he or she gets some consolation prize or, likely, nothing at all.

So back to the lady — who was unlucky with her first ticket. She struck out with her second ticket. Her third ticket was not the charm. I lost count how many more times she tried to buy a winning ticket. All I can remember was her noticeable losing streak. I made a mental note from there.

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