Don’t Play the Lottery in a Blue State

I don’t play the lottery. Over the years, my children have asked why I don’t. Well, I tell them, first, it is not a good bet. You’ll more than likely be struck by lightning than win the lottery. I’ve also told them that it would be just my luck that the one time I do win, 10,000 others will have played the same numbers and we’ll each receive $12.50, or something like that.

It does seem as though most people who play the lottery have no business doing so. They are more than likely the least able to afford it. We’ve all experienced it, and it happened to me just the other day. I stopped at a Shell station to pick up something and ended up behind a gentleman, who appeared… let’s just say… to not be very well-off.

I waited as the clerk pulled out row after row of scratch tickets. He ended up purchasing $50 worth of tickets. Now, I understand looks can be deceiving—you can’t judge a book by its cover and all—but this guy had old clothes, holes in his sneakers, etc.

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It’s none of my business how much he spends on lottery tickets. It’s a free country (kind of)—unless he spends his welfare cash on them, then it is my business.

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Anyway—say he got lucky and won. He wins thousands of dollars. He excitedly contacts the state, or however it works. He can hardly contain himself – visions of all that cash. But the state informs him that they can’t pay. See, the state is broke. So deep in the hole that they can no longer see daylight.

Their fiscal year ended on June 30, and the hacks at the statehouse haven’t been able to pass a new budget. So instead of your many thousand dollar check, the state will issue you a beautiful, large, cardboard IOU.

And that’s exactly what has happened to 29 Illinois lottery winners—and counting. One guy told a local TV station, WLS: “I bought the ticket, I should get the money when it’s due to me,” said a man who won $250,000 on a scratch off game. “I shouldn’t have to wait for some budget to be settled.”

CNN Money reports that, “Illinois is grappling with a serious fiscal crunch. The hold up has been ongoing since the current fiscal year started on July 1. The Illinois lottery on its website highlights 29 prizes that have occurred since then, ranging from $50,000 to a $262 million Mega Millions jackpot split by two winners. The jackpot happens to be the second largest prize in the history of the Illinois lottery.” And none of these people can collect a dime! Imagine winning that kind of money and having the state tell you you’ll have to wait, due to their incompetence.

Chicago reports on one of the Illinois lottery victims, Susan Rick, who won $250,000 a month ago and still can’t collect. A rather upset Rick told the Chicago Tribune, “that if the situation were reversed, the state would ‘come take it and they don’t care whether we have a roof over our head.'”

And these types of situations will only get worse in dark blue states as their liberal lawmakers drive themselves deeper into debt. In fact, out of the 50 states, Illinois is the most insolvent. They stand at number 50 of the most insolvent states, with the next 10, not surprisingly, also being blue states, including New York, New Jersey, California, and Massachusetts.

Michael Leahy calls these states the “Liberal Dirty Dozen.” He writes that, “The dirty dozen liberal blue states are headed towards the sort of fiscal insolvency now unraveling the country of Greece…”

So my advice to anyone living in the “Liberal Dirty Dozen” states: avoid the lottery. If you must play, I suggest crossing state lines to do so. Just make sure you’re crossing into the right state. You know – one of the flyover states – the ones who can actually pay if you win.

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