Lotteries worst bet possible
February 13, 2018 3:00 AM
by Bill Krackomberger
While driving on the Jersey Turnpike I saw an advertisement for the lottery saying, “Isn’t it time your life was changed?” It upset me so much I wanted to talk about it in print form.
Lotteries have been around for centuries. The first recorded lotteries to offer tickets for sale with prizes in the form of money were held in the low countries in the 15th century. Various towns held public lotteries to raise money for town fortifications, and to help the poor. Now it’s used to balance budgets and fill state coffers.
Growing up where I did in the 60’s and 70’s, they had street numbers. There were a few different ways to win, but usually the last three numbers of the handle of a certain racetrack determined the winning number. It was controlled by the mafia and called policy back then. The state governments said, “Why are we letting the mafia make the money when we can make the money and (even more of it) on a broader scale by making it legal?”
It is advertised everywhere to lure the public into thinking they can “have their lives changed” with a big win. Lotteries, including the pick three and four, have changed lives alright. They have ruined a lot of them because it is more than a 50% hold (or house edge).
I know so many people who have blown crazy amounts over the years playing state lotteries. It hits home for me because my father and uncles are great examples of this. My dad was funny though. I used to yell at him and try to explain the house edge was 100 times more than playing blackjack. He then used to tell me I “take the fun out of gambling” and lotteries are “the only game in town.”
When I think about it, there is not a game in the casino that has worse odds, including the money wheel and Keno, than the state lotteries. For 99.99% of you who play, your life will be changed for the worse because you will have less money in your pocket.
If your only other options are the lottery or betting a horse race, stick to the sportsbooks.