The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

A Tax and a Trap

Jan 18, 2016

A Powerball lottery of nearly 1.6 billion dollars, the largest in U.S. history, had at least three winners. The return on a $2 ticket was astronomically high, which is what sucks many millions of people into this gambling.

But, the chance of winning is astronomically low. It is all in the mathematics. The odds are tiny, close to one in 300 million.

The states that run these lotteries consciously set these extremely low odds against unimaginably high monetary gains so that they can attract more people to purchase these tickets. Last July, as if the money they gain was not enough, Powerball officials changed the rules, making the winning even more difficult.

Most players are from the working class. Low income households spend close to $300 per year on lottery tickets. Working class people give away their money on gambling, not as a form of entertainment, but in the vague hope of getting out of their dire economic conditions. The government channels these hopes into this bleak trap.