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McMahon: Scratch it

Hey! At last Arizona is #1 at something and for most people its good news. The State Lottery grew in the last year, 13 times more than the average increase in all other states. We made $551 million in lottery ticket sales last year. That’s like a couple of Super Bowls.

I remember when the lottery was proposed – in some legislative circles there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. The idea that our state would even consider a government-supported game of chance and collect revenue from it was — well, it was the work of Satan. The devil made us do it — and now almost everyone at the Capitol building is grateful since millions of lottery funds have helped bail us out of some of our budget problems.

Yet, with all that desperately needed positive fiscal news, there are still those who continue their harpie-like criticisms: the lottery takes money out of the pockets of those who can least afford it, usually singling out poor, uneducated minorities. Wrong! You want a typical lottery player profile: age 52 with a median income over $52,000, overwhelmingly Caucasian and college-educated. And since we can logically assume some players can’t afford it — it’s their choice and their money — so shut up and mind your own business. By the way, Wednesday there’s a Powerball drawing.