About ten years ago, I was approached by a member of Congress (R-Nevada) to come up with ideas to rev up the economy, as the government saw a bleak future. Remember, this was ten years ago. I, naturally, responded and created two plans for incremental income that the people would embrace, which would severely reduce the budget deficit. Little did I know at the time that the budget deficit we were addressing of $200 billion would swell to almost seven times that when Obama reached the White House.
One of the ideas was to have a national lottery twice a week, with a $2 billion starting jackpot. I suggested that the jackpot number would garner player support not only from the fifty states but around the world; it was just too big a jackpot to ignore… everyone would play! Initially, they thought it was a blockbuster of an idea, but then called me back with various objections:
1. It would hurt state lottery play, as players would opt to spend discretionary funds on it rather than state lotteries.
2. It might impinge upon Indian casinos, who would see lighter play in their properties.
3. The government couldn’t be seen as a gaming operation, which is okay for states to facilitate but not for the federal government.
The one objection they didn’t raise was potentially hurting Las Vegas and other gaming destinations, which at the time seemed strange, but quite obvious considering the source.
Well, the Mega Millions jackpot is up to $640 million tonight – it went up $100 million in the last 24 hours – and there is severe interest to participate throughout the country, although only 42 of the 50 states participate. By 11:00 EST over $1.5 billion would have been wagered for a chance to become super wealthy. I wonder where the other $860 million is going? This tells me that I was on the money ten years ago, and a national lottery with a $2 billion starting prize would be well supported by the people in the U.S… and then we have a billion around the world that would want to participate.
As for hurting Vegas casinos, yesterday at Primm, 45 miles outside Vegas just inside the California border, everybody and his brother from Vegas was waiting in line for five hours to purchase tickets. With so much economic pain in Vegas, it’s hard to imagine anyone not playing in tonight’s mega bonanza. I wouldn’t be surprised if the four ticket tellers got carpel tunnel just from yesterday. If not, they’ll have it by 6:30 pm tonight; the shut off time.
It’s so easy to criticize the federal government; they just can’t do anything right. From the stupidity of the Obamacare nonsense to negating a great and desirable income earner, you begin to wonder what they’re really doing. As for winning Mega Millions tonight; I have my tickets safely in hand.