The lottery commission tells us "It is good to play." But, consider the facts - the "pay-off."

At all locations where lottery tickets are sold, there are cards showing how lottery income is allocated. Are the cards ever read by players? Are the odds ever explained by those selling lottery tickets?

For every dollar from lottery customers, 62 cents is paid in prizes. So, if you could buy all the lottery tickets for $100, the total prize money you would receive would be $62. This means that the return guaranteed by the state of Washington is a minus 38 percent. And the lottery commission advertises, "It's good to play!"

Of course it is very exciting to think you might become a millionaire by buying a lottery ticket. To get $1,000,000, the lottery must sell 1,612,903 $1 tickets. Only 62 percent is paid in prizes. So, for a $1,000,000 prize there must be 1,612,902 losing tickets - not good odds!

For decades "gambling" was outlawed in all but two states, Nevada and New Jersey. Why? Because it was recognized that gambling was addictive for many folks, and was harmful for many families, to say nothing of the potential for criminal involvement at privately run casinos.

Get the facts! Figure the odds! Be smart!

GORDON SONDKER

Longview

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