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The Red Sox lottery game is outrageously lucrative

Aug 20, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

Remember back in March when I used the Red Sox scratchoff lottery game to unleash a big anti-lottery screed?  At the time I said I’d provide updates as warranted. That was kind of snarky, actually, but today we have a good reason to update anyway:  the Massachusetts lottery has now brought in $1 billion in revenue as a result of Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins-themed lottery games.

A little over 10% of that has gone towards local aid to Massachusetts municipalities.  A large chunk — they won’t say how much — has gone to the teams as licensing fees.  As is made clear in the article, the purpose of the announcement, while ostensibly to say how much money the lottery has brought in, was really about allowing the lottery commissioner/gubernatorial candidate to get some face time with the big team owners.

I still think the whole thing stinks for all the reasons I said back in March.

  1. Steve C - Aug 20, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    10% return on a lottery does not seem all that swell. Figure they pay out about 50% of what comes in as winnings, what happened to the other 40%?

  2. kranepool - Aug 20, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    what happened to the other 40%?
    Graft, of course

  3. - Aug 20, 2010 at 3:02 PM


  4. Mike Gianella - Aug 20, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    Remember back in March when I used the Red Sox scratchoff lottery game to unleash a big anti-lottery screed?

    Remember? How can I forget those misty, watercolored memories you made for all of us back in March.

  5. The Rabbit - Aug 20, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    I guess I won’t send you “the guaranteed winning” St.Louis Cardinals scratcher lottery ticket.

  6. Opie - Aug 20, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    20% give or take to the teams based on their, respective, sales. 50% payout is a bit on the sunny side, too.

  7. Kevin Greenstein - Aug 20, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    Or to look at it another way, how much of the $1 billion came from people who couldn’t afford to spend it on lottery tickets? And as a result, are now in worse shape and need of the aid that the $100 million is ostensibly going to provide? Doesn’t seem like a good system for helping people, though that’s how it’s being spun…

  8. JBerardi - Aug 21, 2010 at 6:38 PM

    A lottery is just a tax on the poor. I don’t know why they’re even legal.

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