Q. I heard the legislature is working on ways to improve the lottery. Should I be worried?
Rep. Paul Stam, an Apex Republican, has introduced the “Honest Lottery Act.” This could ruin everything.
You see, what happens is the “Education” Lottery tells players they can win a giant sack of green money if they buy a ticket. They calculate a jackpot number based on long experience, a complicated mathematical algorithm and precision input from their consultant, Stella the Spirit Tarologist.
For example, if you bought tickets for the next Mega Millions, you were told there was a $25 million jackpot. And that’s absolutely true, assuming you meet the following criteria:
• You’re a drooling imbecile.
Because the $25 million doesn’t exist. You might get $25 million if you take a 20-year payout of the jackpot through an annuity, which you would do only if:
• See above criteria.
No, you would go to the lottery office and tell them you want it rightthissecond. And they would look at you with pouty, sad faces and explain that you only get $14 million if you’re so greedy as to want it all right now.
But, wait, there’s more.
Just because you bought the ticket from the government doesn’t mean you have to skip your patriotic privileges. You know the $14 million? Figure at least a quarter of that goes for taxes, probably more.
Plus, there’s sociological evidence that when you tell people they’re getting absolutely defrauded, they tend to put their money into more promising investments, like magic beans.
With an honest lottery, there are no winners.
Sort of like now.