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Must-see morning clip: John Oliver destroys the entire state-run lottery business

"Lotteries are bad for losers, often bad for winners, and a pretty compromising way to assist state budgets"


Sarah Gray
November 10, 2014 7:35PM (UTC)

On the season finale of "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver razed the myths of state-run lotteries:"Lotteries are bad for losers, often bad for winners, and a pretty compromising way to assist state budgets."

Oliver pointed out that 44 states hold state-run lotteries and spend half a billion dollars promoting it -- often by stating that millions of lotto dollars go to education and schools. And the states rake in quite a bit of money.

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“$68 billion," Oliver exclaims. "That’s more than Americans spent last year on movie tickets, music, porn, the NFL, Major League baseball, and video games combined. Which basically means Americans spent more on the lottery than they spent on America.”

Oliver dissects the slogans of several lottery advertisements to see if state-conducted lotteries really are as beneficial to everyone -- winners, losers and schools -- as they're marketed to be. What he finds is disheartening. Watch below:


Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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