Since its beginning in 1967, New York State’s Lottery has raised more than 34 billion dollars for education. You can download the free app to stay informed about jackpots, draws and Scratchers. You can also receive customized notifications when jackpots are high and new games are available.
In the nineteen sixties, Cohen explains, growing awareness of all the money to be made in gambling collided with a crisis in state budgets. Many states, especially those that provided generous social safety nets, found themselves struggling to balance their budgets without raising taxes or cutting services-both of which would have provoked an angry backlash from voters. The lottery seemed like a “budgetary miracle, the chance for states to make money appear seemingly out of thin air.”
Super-sized jackpots drive lottery sales and generate publicity, and it’s not uncommon for a single drawing to yield multiple winners. But some people still oppose the idea of funding government services through gambling. Cohen cites critics from across the political spectrum, including devout Protestants, who considered lottery games morally unconscionable.
State Sen. Joe Addabbo, who chairs the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, says constituents have complained to him that they are harassed by financial advisers and solicitors after winning big. Some even find themselves being evicted from their homes or estranged from family members. Addabbo reintroduced the law to maximize public safety and allow winners to celebrate their victories in private. He’s confident that his colleagues on both sides of the aisle will support it.