State lotteries claim to be good for education and the general wellbeing of citizens. But are they? (Spoiler alert: No.)
I personally received 5,000 a year from the TN lottery for 4 years to use for college. So in a way, I won 20,000 from the lotto without having to get a ticket. Yes its a tax on those who are bad at math, but at least in TN its helped out a ton of kids with rising above student debt!
To be honest, trying to win the lottery is like trying to commit suicide by flying on commercial airlines.
I used to be all wishy washy, live and let live, everyone is just as smart, and everyone has commons sense…bullshit. Yes these things are evil but I cannot for the life of me understand why people gamble especially against unbelievable odds. I have played black jack and came up on $60 and left it at that. Does this make me better than those who do? I will pass on being politically correct and say yes. Idiots everywhere and most are breeding.
People make conscious decisions that affect their lives and they alone should hold responsibility for their actions. Who are you to tell someone they shouldn’t do something? Laissez faire is the only way
How is it that this wonderful British man, who is spending a large portion of his career reporting on the US’s myriad troublesome foibles, would willingly go through the hellish visa process to stay in said foible-ridden nation? Does love really conquer all?
hmm i dunno if I’m convinced, it seems like John Oliver is making the argument that playing the lottery is stupid, well duh, we all know that. But people enjoy the fun of it, I don’t think they are all hapless idiots, especially considering those numbers of people playing the lotto. And ofcourse poorer people spend a larger percentage of their money, noone is going to buy 10000 lotto cards, it’s just too much time scratching, there is a law of diminishing returns. Also he points out that, the money from the lottery replaced money from taxes, and helped lower them. Essentially the lottery replaced a mandatory payment and changed it to a volunteer form of funding. I think the lotto helps incentivise programs/institutions that we think as a nation should support that otherwise may suffer from poor funding. I think lotto offers brilliant avenues of even incentivising people to help themselves. I dont think because some people can’t manage their addiction, we should forsake all the potential good lotteries have the potential of doing.
12,000+ slot machines in all of Oregon? That’s cute, there’s over 200,000 just in my city(las Vegas). Home of the gamblers and suckers!
That’s why it is forbidden in Islam to gamble.
Huge Jon Oliver fan, absolute legend, but did anyone catch the fact that he said 21/24 states? (nearly 50%) lol
So a rich guy from Britain who made all his money here in America is telling other Americans not to play the lottery at all. Hey John,piss off you limey bastard!
#JohnOliver is fast becoming my favorite…..this guy really makes great points in his show. #lottery glad we don’t play the lottery.
Winning the lottery is like taking one of those $10 LEGO sets, throwing all the pices onto a table, and them all landing in the correct positions as the fully assembled product.
do not buy scratch tickets , store clerks scan the big winners and sell to their friend and family. It is all a scam. Casinos are better at least you have a drink and it is entertaining
“Oregonians” Do they seriously call themselves that?
As an Oregonian, I can personally say that video poker machines are everywhere. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone into a restaurant and not seen one. They are actually everywhere.
Maybe its because I’ve got education in economics and finances that made me a bit pessimistic about how money works in this world, but the fact of people getting their lives ruined due to lottery/slot machines doesnt make the lottery/gambling the devil, it is the people themselves and their own faults, if they cry about losing, Im afraid there isnt anyone else to blame, but their own idiocy, loterries,casinos in general are built upon the idea of idiots spending their money “hoping” to win big, which is next to impossible and if they believe it might just one day be them, then oh holy sh*t I would do nothing, but turn around and walk away, I for one have never understood why and how can someone even remotely believe to win any reasonable amount of money, honestly if they want to waste money on something, they might as well be throwing it out the window, that way maybe someone with common sense might find them and use them for something actually useful.
only 12.000 machines in one state ?
WHY THIS KIND OF SHOW IS NOT ON NATIONAL TV LIKE CBS ?
“That is nearly 50%”
That was a Colbert joke if I ever saw one. Did John just poach his writers from every other late night host?
Who else would watch Slumshark Gillionaire?
The Florida lottery paid for my entire undergrad education through Florida Bright Futures scholarship.
I’ve never seen an ad for the lottery in my whole life. And I watch a lot of TV.
Jesus Christ. Have some self-control. Apparently John Oliver wants a nice, socialist government where we don’t get to make decisions for ourselves. “But I want to spend $5 on the lotto!” “No, you can’t do that. Go buy some kale instead.”
Lottery is a great thing, on the one hand it’s taxation for stupidity and being bad in statistics on the other hand its an incentive to develop a method of sending information back in time
I have lived most of my life in the two states that have absolutely NO gaming. None. Utah and Hawai’i. It’s great! I HOPE there is NEVER any gaming, any lottery in these two states. When I am flying into McCarran Airport in Vegas for business, there are video poker and slots as you get off the plane! Slots in grocery stores, UPS stores…everywhere. Casinos are #1 industry in NV. Nevada got KILLED in the recession…people couldn’t pay mortgage much less afford a weekend trip to the Bellagio! Of interest is that Nevada plus 6 other states do NOT have lotteries! Casino lobbyists won’t allow anything to interfere with money spent on lottery tix. Gambling is the worst addiction I have ever seen. When you go to an ATM in a casino, the screen lights up with “IS GAMBLING STILL FUN? If not call 1-800-Gamblers (for Gamblers’ Anonymous)” THEN the ATM dispenses $100 bills! Minimum to withdraw is in $100 increments! I hate all gaming as I see how many lives it ruins.
Gambling and its problems
Gambling should be legal becauses (I mean in all staes) because it is free will people blame the machines or the ticket or the cards being not the best when it is their choice to play
How is it that we are now living in the Future in back to the future were biff goes back in time and than becomes the most powerful man in the US?
I think most of America’s problems stem from the fact that its policies are not made in response to the demands and needs of the common people but are made by how much cash certain profit oriented groups poured in for lobbying for what was good fit their profits.
#JohnOliver Sadly your last joke was a little too close to reality. In Virginia hard liquer is only sold in ABC (alcohol beverage control) stores run and controlled by the state government. So not only is the state in the alcohol business, the state has a legal monopoly created by the state.
2:19 Education matters to Argonians?
It’s funny at the end with the liquor business bit…
because that is what Pennsylvania actually does. All PA Wine and Spirit Shoppes are state run.
Lottery is a scam. States that claim that the funds go to Education just do weird math voodoo by removing regular funding. Otherwise those states that claim that the lottery pays for education would have schools hurting for money.
There is a reason why gambling houses loudly proclaim that some would-be-gambler won “X” amount of money. That is small change and the house ALWAYS wins in the end. .
My good buddy David is absolutely addicted to gambling. I watched him throw seven 100 dollar bills (all the money he had for a vacation) on a roulette wheel just because “it has to turn red eventually”. And he buys $5 scratchers multiple times a day. Hes not even 21 yet. I am deathly afraid for his well-being once that age comes.
Which do you prefer? 1) The state takes a certain percentage of money from you at the (implied) muzzle of a gun (that’s called taxes). 2) The state doesn’t force you to give them anything, but offers a chance at a huge prize if you give them a little something to take the chance.
No pity for the stupid bitch… aww no food whine whine…. well clearly she wasn’t hungry enough if gambling went over survival and well being
The Lottery, A Tax On Hope.
You are better than steward
here’s the most evil idea ever…
dole out XP for every dollar you spend (like an RPG). for every level you gain, you have an x% chance better to win (on an odds of 50-100K against you). sometimes you can win an extra 10-20 extra spins of the gaming machine…
bam! farmville and/or evony (microrewards and microtransactions) + gambling D: fuuuuuuuuuu
Crossing fingers is a signal of luck too
The state runs alcohol in PA…
The people who are addicted to lotteries are in the bottom decile anyway, so it’s not a big loss in terms of GDP.
If you see the whole thing bigger state owned lotteries result in less taxes for you. And i am quite sure the money the lotteries makes would still be made, just by private people. Maybe not in the same amount, but still.
Ohio sells alcohol directly via agencies, so I guess yeah, they are funding schools with drunks :P
Chance of getting attacked by a shark in the United States is 1 in 11.5 million and the odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime is 1 in 3,000. Chances of this happening simultaneously during one of 40 million minutes of average lifetime expectancy are much slimmer. Check your facts John Oliver!
I truly believe the lotteries are rigged in order to get money for these states. This is the poor mans tax and it helps the state collect money without paying anything out. I really wish someone would seriously INVESTIGATE the mechanics of the lottery winnings (Which state, and how the numbers have been generated for those QPs for that state.) Kinda weird that Puerto Rico is going bankrupt and all of a sudden, someone in PR wins the jackpot making the PR people rush to spend their money on new tickets.
I don’t think I’ve purchased more than 10 lottery tickets. It’s a “once in a blue moon” thing for me.
That last joke about what if the government ran the liquor business and had ads saying how buying alcohol supports education? The provincial government of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan is EXACTLY like that! Our alcohol businesses are all run, at least in part, by the government which got into the business sometime after prohibition ended. We have ads reminding us that our beer and alcohol, which is two to three times as expensive here than anywhere else in North America, goes to support schools and hospitals and policing and the arts. We’re so addicted to the income that despite the current right wing government wanting to end government run liquor stores, the alcohol would be just as expensive at a private liquor store.
Idiots who waste their money gambling DESERVE to lose their money. If you don’t have enough brain cells to resist gambling, you don’t deserve any sympathy. Pretending like these people are victims is just dishonest.
people need to stay away from them organizations!
I would watch slumshark gillionare
I live in Utah, what lottery? Lol.
Hey I got a score of 12 million on one board on Candy Crush….lol
Dumb people don’t care how improbable it is to win. As soon as they hear about a few people who won the lottery, they feel confident that they could be next. When they actually do, tons of people might be after their money since they have so much to blow.
The sad truth is that public education will always lose to corporate tax cuts.
This one is awesome! Spot on and well played sir! 🙂
Please address moving corp HQ’s offshore to avoid corp taxes altogether – that would be good.
oh you americans as corrupt as always :)
Next, mobile “games”.
I knew when I saw the clip from a Tennessee Lottery ad that the three billion dollars to education was bullshit. I live in Tennessee and I go to public school here and the school was always begging for money. There were fundraisers all of the time and we had to buy all of our supplies, we even had to buy supplies for the class like tissues and paper. The supplies we didn’t have to pay for though were almost always complete shit. The textbooks were falling apart, with the covers literally hanging on by a thread, though I normally attributed that to the fact that some staff members were probably not even needed. Our school, which was Kindergarden through eighth grade with one thousand kids in it, had three assistant principals along with the principle. I understand why we need a principal, but even one assistant principal seems excessive for a primarily elementary school.
“FUCK YOU EVOLUTION I DECIDE WHO FLIES OK? IT’S MY CHOICE” Best part ever.
So this is what happens here in Oregan…I want to go back to Minnesota.
His last joke on alcohol and education is actually what happens in Colombia. The tax the liquor company pays goes towards education. Not far from reality, Oliver!
I worked it out and the odds of being struck by lightning and eaten by a shark simultaneously are actually 1 in 2,623,646,900,000
That “furry” clip…I don’t think there’s that much overlap between those who demographics…
Why would I give my charity money to a lottery? Even disregarding morals and ethics and only regarding practicality, it’s more likely that the charity money will make said poor family wealthy enough that they can pay you back multiple times out of sheer gratitude than you’ll win that same money in the lottery. How’s that for your conflict of interest?
The Lottery – A tax on the poor
A lottery is basically a “stupid” tax. A way for governments and corporations to drain more money from idiots. Let them do it.
Ugh. I work at a lottery cafe in Oregon. Now I feel more awful than before…
I completely agree with this video. I will say, however, that I’m (selfishly) grateful for the Georgia lottery, which allowed me to go to university tuition and fee free through the HOPE Scholarship. As a whole I know its not a good program, but I know it helped a lot of kids in my state go to school with little or no loans
As a person who has to sell lottery tickets as part of their job I hate the question “Which would you buy”. I always think “A fucking math textbook”.
the lottery is for stupid people who can’t do math.
I believe it was in the liner notes of a Pigface album… “Fuck the lottery, a tax on the poor…”
The lottery would be nice if it wasn’t so corrupt wire nation is then financial problems why it does money helping to repair roads and I think someone that money is going to some corrupt politicians pockets. It was really stupid when they put more states into into the lottery and put more odds against winning because they added one more number in the lottery. They should a left the lottery alone and left half the states to have the lottery and the other half does have the Mega lottery. And now you have to pay $2.00 a ticket for their original lottery and for the mega lottery you does have to pay $1.00. And I think that when the lottery is over $100,000,000 they should have at least 50 drawings so some people can split up that 100,000,000 dollars and we would have more winners that way and that would help are our economy a lot more. And it gets me when you pay taxes on when the lottery the government gets half of it and they should only get 1/4 of it. And people should have the right to have privacy when they win the lottery because you don’t need to have people to know how much money you have because so many people will be asking you for money afterwards and I would tell them I bought a lottery ticket and one why don’t you go by lottery ticket and try to win. But when people ask you for money it’s always good to use the magic word no .
I have lived in Oregon all my life, and I can’t remember ever seeing a video poker machine. I am wondering where they put them. I never play the lottery though, so maybe it is just one of those things that I don’t think about…like not noticing phone booths anymore.
Well, that’s pretty much how the liquor business works in Ontario, Canada…
john oliver needs to come here and pound the shit out of me, I would drag my balls over 100 miles of broken glass and diamonds to have 10 minutes with the man, yas daddy
I love John Oliver but the bit about the woman blowing all of her grocery money on the lottery was a bit much…. at some point you have to blame the individual for being an idiot…. The lottery system is obviously designed to take advantage of people by giving them false hope but you have to have some responsibility for yourself as an adult….
Twenty-eight hours earlier, backstage:
John: “So I get to expense the vodka? …can we just do one last-minute rewrite?”
we need more intelligent, skeptical thinkers like Oliver, James Randi-, and Dawkins, etc… It’s time our species gets our heads out of our stone-aged mentality
North Carolina pride!!
But lottery is like the et of video games unless it some how has pacman on it… In which it’s only a 10000 dollar winner because it still sucked too
It is just a stupid tax.
My state has gambling one gambling awareness sign (for potential addicts)… It’s about 0.5 miles from the CT border, between partially overgrown trees, on a fairly lightly travelled road. All of the lottery signs, on the other hand… They’re in the densely populated sections with tons of traffic. Seems legit. LOL :)
3:09 yes lower income households spend a higher proportion of their income on lottery tickets because say 2 families of different income buy 1 lottery ticket:
5$ : 20,000$ > 5$ : 50,000$
even if they buy the same amount of tickets the proportion would be higher for lower income (because smaller denominator)
I remember a Missouri Lottery ad here that showed a Swedish transfer student coming in, and all the kids said “Welcome to Missouri” in Swedish.
to be honest I the ball lottery like spend 5 bucks a week for a chance at winning big? I mean shit if I won the lottery I’d take 2 million of it for myself to pay for a small house small car a new computer and the rest would be to spend bills and anything more than that 2 milion would go to charity or something.
I agree with Oliver comma John
I guess we should stop building bars cuz people are gonna drink too?
I just discovered this guys show. It reminds me of Penn and Teller’s Bullshit which was one of my favorites. Every episode I laugh at first and then eventually cry when I realize every fucked up thing he examines is downright evil.
i fucking love this man. he depresses the shit out of me every time i watch, but i fucking love him
John Oliver is the shit.
this shows so dope i never heard of it till today
I once was on a cruise, and as I walked past the casino, a row of windows on one side and players gawking into their video slot machines on the other side… I thought, “They ought to just open the windows and throw their money into the ocean. It’s basically the same thing.”
State corruption hides in plain sight, and people like John Oliver tacitly ignore its nature while poking fun at the malice they mistake for stupidity, smugly chiding politicians to simply do a better job at taking care of us.
Video slot/poker machines are all over Illinois, too.
I’m from Ontario, and the last bit about States selling alcohol is pretty much exactly what we do! With similar claims of good causes it is going towards
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