Powerball is fun. Now it is certainly wrong to go out and spend lots of money on tickets when you can’t afford it. But buying a couple of $2 tickets just for fun is certainly ok. Not to mention kind of exciting. Plus someone has to win! I really don’t mind government making money like this. It’s voluntary.
Check it out:

“Schedule heavier media weight during those times of the month where consumer disposable income peaks. … Government benefits, payroll and Social Security payments are released on the first Tuesday of each calendar month.”

Billboards in Chicago slums claim lottery purchases “could be your ticket out.” The Illinois lottery lures players to “joy someone with holiday scratch-offs.” In Maine, an analysis by Cornell University and the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting last fall found: “For every one percent increase in joblessness in a given zip code, lottery sales jump 10 percent, the original research shows. And people in Maine’s poorest regions spend as much as 200 times more person than those in wealthier areas.”

“By enticing people to spend their money on fantasies,” veteran gambling historian Robert Goodman points out, “governments are preying on people’s ability to dream and hope. Rather than providing real hope for economic improvement, public officials are promoting the illusion of economic improvement– becoming deeply involved in finding new ways of manipulating people’s desire for a more secure future. They are enticing people into taking part in what should properly be called the ‘pathology of hope.'”

The government gambling industry spins lotteries as good, innocent fun that benefits the children. Always “For The Children.” But countless studies show two things:

First, a significant portion of lottery sales are driven by financial desperation and delusion, not by entertainment. During the 2008 recession, 29 of 42 states with lotteries saw huge spikes in lottery sales — with sales records set in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where purchases are greatest in the states’ poorest counties.