Thursday, July 05, 2007

Gee, Thanks

Following up to Friday's Question of the Day, yesterday was the drawing for the lottery's Star Spangled Sweepstakes, the one with the $20 tickets. The Herald reports that eleven people became millionaires thanks to the sweepstakes, which paid out $40 million in prizes, despite not selling that much in tickets. The Herald also notes that 35% of the 4 million tickets were sold, along with this:

All revenue generated from the sweepstakes will be divided among Massachusetts' townships and cities.
By my back of the envelope calculations, there were only 1.4 million tickets sold, netting a total of $26 million (not counting printing and advertising costs, etc)

That means the sweepstakes cost cities and towns at least $14,000,000. Do you think they'll send us the bill?

Update: The Boston Globe has more on the sweepstakes, including the reaction of ticket-buyers to the news that the Lottery extended the sales deadline over the weekend. They're upset that their chances of winning were lowered. They have a point, but the idea that lottery players are complaining that the odds of winning the lottery are too low is hilarious to me.