In a recent article in CNN Money, Victor Matheson, associate professor of economics at the College of the Holy Cross, commented on the economic impact of the Powerball lottery, which millions of Americans continue to participate in.
In the last fiscal year, Americans have spent $65.5 billion on lottery tickets, which is a 10% increase from the year before. With 25% of that money going to state governments, allowing states to fund school and construction programs, Matheson contended that such funds are essential to state budgets, and are essential if states are to avoid raising taxes. “It’s difficult to see how you would eliminate that much of state budgets and be able to come up with money elsewhere,” he said.
However, Matheson also noted that state economies would be further bolstered if consumers purchased goods and services instead of lottery tickets. “People spend disposable income on lottery tickets rather than buying a coffee at Starbucks or some gizmo at Best Buy,” he remarked.
This ‘Holy Cross in the News’ item by David Cotrone ’13.