Holy Cross Professor of Economics Discusses Powerball Lottery

November 29th, 2012 by 

With the Nov. 28 Powerball jackpot climbing to a record $550 million, millions of Americans from 43 states bought lottery tickets in hopes of winning the huge payout. As associate professor of economics Victor Matheson noted in several national news outlets, Powerball is one of the biggest games of complete chance that exists today.

“Teeing up and getting a hole in one, that’s pretty unlikely, right?” asked Matheson, in an on-camera interview with NECN.com. “Now your first shot goes in, a hole in one, and then you go up and take a second shot and that’s a hole in one as well. That’s the same odds of you winning the Powerball,” he continued.

Matheson also discussed both the personal and wider economic impact of the lottery, and in the Christian Science Monitor, he called it ‘a highly regressive tax [that preys] on people who are down on their luck and don’t see any other options to make their life better.”

Speaking to budget issues that state and local governments face every day, Matheson contended that the lottery is essential to bolstering state budgets, but that they would be further boosted if individuals purchased local goods and services.

Read Matheson’s analysis of Powerball:

This ‘Holy Cross in the News’ item by David Cotrone ’13.

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