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OT: Mega Millions Jackpot

  • shrug The feed ing frenzy is on. I picked up 3 tickets just to have a shot. How many tickets do you know of anyone buying? Anybody going crazy? $500,000,000 would help me out.

    I like how people spend much of their paycheck and their odds don't improve much over those with 1 ticket. The only guarantee is if you don't have a ticket you are guaranteed not to win.

  • Tide In The ATL

    I put down $10 on it yesterday. Should be interesting.

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  • In Georgia, that's $318M AFTER taxes with lump-sum option.

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    On Alabama: CeCe Jefferson - "It was a bunch of beautiful women..." Reggie Ragland - "oh the females of course..."

  • Can u buy them online or over the phone? Or do u have to buy in person?

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by pedgar 2 years ago

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  • Try this...

    Mega Millions Lottery - Winning Numbers & Res

    Find out the latest Mega Millions winning numbers, as well as information and previous results for one of North America's largest multi-state lotteries.

    http://www.lotteryusa.com/lottery/MM/MM_fcur.html
  • Tide In The ATL

  • Tide In The ATL

    Also, a player for the Washington Wizards has put down $10k on the lottery.

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  • Was on vacation in Gatlinburg and heard it was over 500 mill. Had to stop on way home yesterday and get $20 worth. First time to buy lottery tickets, hoping for beginner's luck.

  • Just bought $10 worth...

    If i win... everyone in this thread gets BOL subscriptions subscriptions for life... rockon banana

    This post was edited by trogle 2 years ago

  • Pretty depressing also to think about how money is leaving Alabama to go across the borders to buy tickets in other states...

  • I put down ten bucks, State of Washington..

  • Interesting article by cbs news on where the money really goes. Very little to education
    60% to winner and 9 of 10 blow thru winnings in 5 years.
    25% tp sellers. 15% to stateswho use for various general services.
    IRS will get $100 million . Impact on education is surprisingly small.

  • 15 % is better than zero in Alabama. It's a shame.

  • Just because you can do it doesn't mean you should. I'm proud alabama hasn't caved in to what other states are doing here. Its one of the things that makes me want to move back one day.

    This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by Dakota Dave 2 years ago

  • "Think of how much better off we could be if we made prostitution legal. And if we allowed gay marriage a lot more people would come and increase our tax rolls. The average income of gays and lesbians is much higher than straights. Face it and take pride. You're in the bible belt.

  • BamaFreak1978

  • davispb

    I don't care who you are or what you believe, but it is indisputable that a huge amount of income from residents of Alabama walked across the border and was deposited in Georgia. I want to see statistics to back up your claims, Dakota- how is it any of your business to care about what someone else does with their life?

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  • If prostitution was legal it would be no different, people that want it get it now. I don't see how gay marriage would increase the tax rolls but ok... I doubt gays would move to Alabama but trust me there are plenty around now.

    All that would be the same as it is but the cash that went to Georgia (where I live and my daughter attends UGA on the HOPE Scholarship) would be in Alabama in some form. Not to mention the $$$ that was spent in Georgia when people bought gas, snacks, a meal as I am sure many did.

    No matter your views, cash walked to Georgia yesterday, my daughter is getting a tuition free college education and (some) Alabama people are proud. Not having the lottery doesn't stop it, it just means Alabama doesn't benefit from it.

  • davispb

    exactly...

    There is only one honest impulse at the bottom of Puritanism, and that is the impulse to punish the man with a superior capacity for happiness.
    H.L. Mencken

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  • What’s wrong with a lottery that will help fund scholarships for college students? Shouldn’t we support education every way possible? What’s wrong with a state lottery is the state robs from the poor through the most regressive tax possible. And while we should support education, sending kids to college with money that should be buying groceries for poor families makes no sense and is an act of cruelty on some of the most vulnerable in our society. For every winner, there were millions of lottery losers. The biggest losers will be the poor who get hooked. It's the poor and less educated who get hurt the most. Because the astronomical odds of winning the lottery don’t seem any worse to them than the odds they face every day, they spend the rent money, the utility money, the bread money for one chance in almost a billion to get out of the their desperate situation. Dave Ramsey, one of my favorites, said: “People play the lottery with money they otherwise would have spent with the small business owners who run the furniture stores, the markets, the show stores, the restaurants and so on. The lottery is a direct competitor with small businesses for people’s discretionary income. Worse yet, it is run by the state, and that puts the government in competition with small business. That’s just wrong.” The government should not put itself in a place where it is preying on people’s weaknesses. Yes, it is a choice, but the slick advertising done by the government entices people to play and actually think they have a chance to win. The Lottery causes a person to think he or she can get rich quick without having to earn the wealth by working. As a Christian, a state lottery bothers me because attaining wealth by enticing someone to gain money at the certain loss of another violates basic principles taught in the Bible. The lottery promotes selfishness and greed and hurts people who can least afford it. I've seen estimates that more than half of some state’s lottery ticket sales come from customers whose income is near or below the recognized poverty level. For the poor, the lottery is not harmless fun. It is a desperate but vain attempt to survive. But the odds of winning are so cruel—roughly 640 million to one is odds is nothing other than theft by consent.

    It does not surprise me that agnostic Mencken would be quoted here, but he is not a friend of the south anyway. As I recall he said the South was "almost as sterile, artistically, intellectually, culturally, as the Sahara Desert." I'd prefer to quote someone with more authority, "love your neighbor as you love yourself".

  • It's a really simple concept here, Dakota Dave. If you don't like it, don't do it, but don't legislate your morality onto others. You're a Christian, the Alabama legislature and government is not.

    Furthermore, the whole BS line about how it's a tax on the poor is absolutely and unequivocally ridiculous, as scratch off games are LEGAL in Alabama, but there is no Crusade against them. The fact of the matter is that people who want to skirt their responsibilities in exchange for chasing some wild fantasy are going to do so regardless of whether there is a lottery or not.

    As an aside, it really cracks me up that it is the Evangelical Right that most ardently opposes the lottery, usually citing this concept of it being a tax on the poor, but this same group is ardently opposed to ANY government social programs designed specifically to help those below the poverty line. When you dissect the arguments, it is pretty obvious that it is simply trying to push a Christian agenda on everyone in society by using some thinly veiled argument.

    Finally, the concept of it robbing small business is, again, ridiculous. How much more opportunity to sell will a gas station have with the added incentive of consumers entering for the purposes of buying lottery tickets? Even if it's just an extra bag of chips and a coke per person, that's a lot of money that otherwise is not being circulated, or worse, is being sent to another state.

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    "Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself." -Coach Bryant

  • We legislate morality all the time. In fact, a sense of what is morally tolerable to our society is the foundation for most of our laws. You can't sell or possess drugs, prostitution is illegal, no stealing or murder, can't produce child pornography, no rape, no pedofilia, no late term abortion, no gay marriage, and we have tv and movie and video game ratings. Who is the government to tell us we can't do something? The community where you live makes a decision about what they can morally tolerate. Alabama has made that decision as a community.

    My main argument was that the lottery displaces wealth regressively. In other words, because poor and working class citizens are particularly attracted to the lottery due to the hope of winning huge sums of money, changing their lives and climbing the economic latter, they buy more lottery tickets than the average citizen. But the chances of winning are extremely small. So the money, which is put into the lottery by families who can afford it the least, gets redistributed to families who mostly do not need financial help in the form of college scholarships. In general, poor citizens pay for middle-class and even rich citizens to go to college. Of course, over time this accentuates the income gap between poor and rich, making improvement of socio-economic status from generation to generation extremely difficult. In short, the lottery destroys the American dream by “taxing the poor” and giving to the rich.

    As for the small business argument, money spent on lottery tickets have opportunity costs. This money could be used for better things. Plus any money not used by the poor to buy their essentials will be paid by others via government programs (which are funded by tax dollars). If you are so concerned with giving scholarships to kids, then give it directly to scholarship funds because only a small portion of your lottery ticket actually goes to education. Food for thought - Are you going to jump up and down in support of convenience stores if the online lottery ticket sales gains momentum?

    Finally, you may take shots at evangelicals, but they do more good than most with hospitals and children's homes and feeding the poor and caring for those with substance abuse. Money given to the causes of hunger and poverty by evangelicals (and other Christian churches) is extremely high, as well as assistance to victims of hurricanes and tornadoes (Tuscaloosa for instance). When the need is greatest, evangelicals are among the first ones there to help. They truly believe it is the church's responsibility over government to help the poor. I would say that evangelicals in general do not support any form of gambling, but the lottery gets the most attention because it involves the most $.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Dakota Dave 2 years ago

  • With the instances you gave, it's not morality that is being legislated, it is the protection of individual rights for others that is being legislated. The ones that are closest to being simply moral legislation happen to be the ones that are constantly under the most attack (abortion issues, gay marriage, and non-violent crimes/drug usage).

    If the argument that the lotter is a tax on the poor and a severely regressive tax at that, then where is the war on sales tax? Sales tax is far and away the most regressive tax and the one that hits those behind the poverty line the hardest, and it is a tax that they can in no way avoid. Taxation of items like milk, bread, and other living essentials should be the main focus here if the devil is in regressive taxes aimed at the poor. A lottery is 100% avoidable. Buying food and water is not.

    When it comes to opportunity cost, of course there is better things that money could be spent on. However, it is not the charge of our government to make sure that all of its citizens are spending their money in the most cost effective manner possible. And if I had the ability to give every deserving kid in America a chance at a free higher education, you bet I would. And yes, relatively speaking, a low percentage of lottery money actually goes towards education. However, according to this website (http://www.kionrightnow.com/story/14567787/q-how-much-lottery-money-goes-toward-education), in California it raised 1.1 billion dollars in the 2009/10 FY alone. Take the lottery away from California, and you take 1.1 billion dollars out of the education budget.

    Finally, my beef is not with the charitable works of evangelicals. I myself am a Christian and do as much as I can to help others, but me being a Christian does not mean I should try to legislate my beliefs on everyone else. The church is more than welcome to continue doing charitable works and tell its followers to NOT play the lottery, but it should not have the power to completely block anyone in society from doing it if they so desire.

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    "Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself." -Coach Bryant

  • Unfortunately, we do not live in a vacuum. The lottery affects everyone,whether they choose to participate or not. A government-sponsored lottery is a public policy that creates addicts. When it comes to severity, America's gambling addiction isn't too far behind the nation's drug problem, and it's growing. Due to our poor economy, officials in a majority of states have pushed for new or expanded gambling in order to bring in more revenue. These states have gotten addicted to gambling as a cure for their mismanaged local economies. To deal with unprecedented budget gaps legislators tout gambling as a painless source of revenue instead of making tough budget cuts. These government officials know they creating a gambling addiction because most states use some of the gambling revenues to fund programs to prevent and treat gambling addiction (i.e., they are essentially admitting that they know they are creating some gamblers who become addicts.) Is this appropriate policy? I don't think so.

    Forty-three states sponsor heavily promoted lotteries and, admittedly, there is some job creation and economic stimulus in these states. But do the benefits really outweigh the costs? What's touted as good for the economy is bad for society, and gambling addiction carries a huge price tag. When the addiction rate increases, so does the cost to society, Bankruptcies, burglaries and other crimes, spouse abuse, child neglect and abuse, foreclosures and even suicide. The impact of gambling addiction is wide and deep. I used to live in Gulfport, MS, I know of what I speak. Baylor University professor Earl Grinols estimates that addicted gamblers cost the U.S. between $32.4 billion and $53.8 billion a year -- about $274 per adult annually. Money spent on gambling could be used to bolster Americans' meager retirement accounts, pay for children's college educations, or shore up emergency savings. Simply spending it in a transaction that is win-win rather than win-lose is always the best alternative and consistent with the principles of capitalism that founds our nation, Yes, some people can and do gamble responsibly, and the issue of whether they be denied that outlet to protect those who can't is a difficult question -- and similar to arguments regarding the legality of drugs. While there may be valid arguments against the government intervening to protect autonomous adults from themselves, even stronger arguments can be made that policy makers should not actively support and encourage dysfunctional behaviors. It is a problem when government agencies specifically set up gambling facilities and lotteries purely for profit. It is even more of a problem when these states hire advertising agencies who promote government-sponsored gambling, and who very consciously and intentionally create advertisements that entice people and encourage gambling with promotions that advertise the joy of winning the lottery, when the odds are so microscopic than anyone seeing the ad will ever have that experience.

    Your use of state taxes is a straw man. Personally, I do not think essentials should be taxed (i.e., many states do not tax groceries). But do you refuse to fight for any cause because you can't fight for all of them? The state tax is already here and has been for years. The lottery is not in Alabama yet, and if it is ever allowed, will probably never be reversed. So it is reasonable for opponents of the lottery, like me, to argue hard to keep it out.

    Finally, to say that morality cannot be legislated shows a misunderstanding of what laws really are. All laws declare one behavior right and one behavior wrong, which is the very definition of morality. When you say morality cannot be legislated, you probably mean that legislation cannot change hearts. This is true, but changing hearts is not the purpose of laws. Regardless of one's personal convictions, laws encourage a certain behavior by citizens. Legislation cannot be divorced from morality. All laws mandate morality. The question is not then can we legislate morality, but whose morality do we legislate? Just as agnosticism and atheism are religions in their own right, your "amoral" position is in fact a statement of the "moral" beliefs which you desire to impose on me and the rest of society.

    I end as I started ... unfortunately, we do not live in a vacuum.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Dakota Dave 2 years ago