Losing Odds At The Tennessee Lottery

Saturday, April 16, 2022

First let me say that I am a huge supporter of the lottery. As a famous Atlanta talk show once said, "the lottery is a tax on poor people and they don't pay enough in taxes anyway." Plus all the take after winnings and expenses goes to education.

However if the lottery was a private enterprise it would probably be shut down for racketeering. Only about 67 cents of every dollar bet is paid out in winnings. If a casino gave odds like that they would be shut down immediately. Even the worst paying slots pay out in the high 80s percent. The Chattanoogan.com article mentioned that Tennesseans had, "won," $17.5 billion since 2004. Based on a 66 percent payout that means lottery players had to wager a total of around $26 billion to win $17.5 bill.

And that doesn't even take into account that little item called taxes. As long as one wins less than a certain amount they are on the honor system for paying taxes. However whoever won the $20 million gets a 1099 Income tax form and probably at least a withholding in the amount of $5 million. Depending on how good a tax attorney they have they will probably end up paying at least $10 million in taxes.

Hopefully most of the people playing the Tennessee Lottery are from out of state. That is a real win, win for Tennesseans. Let others pay some of our educational expenses.

Douglas Jones
Ooltewah

P.S. Just to clarify I do play the lottery occasionally. Nothing wrong with dropping a $10 or $20 when there is a big jackpot. Just remember over the long run the numbers are stacked against you.


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