The practice of dividing property by lot dates back to ancient times. The Old Testament commanded Moses to divide Israel’s land by lot. Roman emperors also used lotteries to distribute slaves and property. Lotteries were a popular form of dinner entertainment, called “apophoreta,” which means “that which is carried home.”
NoRC survey of North Carolina’s lottery players
The NoRC survey of North Carolina’s lottery participants revealed some interesting results. In the 60609 zip code, residents spent nearly $23 million on lottery tickets during fiscal 2002. Lottery players from lower-income neighborhoods spent an even higher percentage of their income on tickets than those in wealthier zip codes. The average lottery spend was $224 per person, or about $0.46 per $100 of income. But not all lottery players are happy with their lotteries’ results.
Sales in 2003
The Minnesota Lottery has released preliminary figures showing an increase in lottery ticket sales for the third fiscal quarter of 2003. Ticket sales increased by $12.3 million from July through December, a 19 percent increase over the same period in 2002. Sales of online games also increased, by about 4 percent. Lottery officials attribute the increase to a change in the Powerball prize structure, which increased the jackpots to a higher value, attracting more players.
Marketing to low-income communities
The United States lottery doesn’t specifically target low-income neighborhoods, so marketing to low-income residents would likely work against its goals. Lottery outlets are generally located outside of high-income neighborhoods, where higher-income shoppers would be unlikely to make purchases. Nevertheless, many people play lottery games, regardless of income. Despite the lack of targeted marketing, a lottery outlet is still an essential component of a community’s economy.
Taxes on winnings
When you win the lottery, you will pay taxes on the prize money you receive. Depending on how much money you won, you may be able to deduct some of your lottery winnings on your federal income tax return. However, the federal income tax rules only apply to prize money, not to other types of income, including real estate. In addition to federal income tax, your city and state may also want a cut.
Public support for a lottery
There is widespread public support for a lottery, as shown in the poll results from the recent Elon University survey. The poll results were released to celebrate the university’s upcoming transition to university status. One of the major reasons why people support a lottery is that it is a “painless” revenue source. After all, lottery players spend their money for the public good. Politicians, meanwhile, look at lotteries as free tax money.