Oregon Loves Dreamers
Oregon’s new big money raffle — their best idea ever?
By Jerry Dawson
You only have to wait until January 2009 to buy a $10 ticket for Oregon’s new big
money, one million dollar lottery raffle game where your chances of winning are the best
ever – one in 250,000! It’s a certain win-win for both the gambler and the state! Consider
The new smoking ban, which coincidentally starts in January 2009 will prohibit smoking
in all bars, bingo halls, bowling alleys, taverns – even bars inside restaurants. This is
obviously a problem for the lottery, as the vast majority of video lottery machines are in
places where people smoke. Lottery revenue might go down if smokers stay away from
places that don’t allow them to smoke. A state study has predicted this, in fact.
The Oregon Lottery funds economic development, public education, gambling addiction
programs, and parks and salmon restoration projects. What would we ever do without
these valuable programs? What if funding for these valuable programs was cut anyway?
Just imagine if a park went away. Or if we cut a day off the school calendar due to severe
funding cuts. What if a salmon got hurt? What if an addicted gambler kept gambling and
even tried a new, big money raffle? What if economic development ground to a halt?
(Wait, Oregon has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation – maybe it
already has ground to a halt. Never mind.)
Oregon’s governor and legislature have decided to make certain these essential lottery
funds keep rolling in at ever increasing rates. In order to do this we must have a “game”
where it is easier to win the big money. With odds like one in 250,000, you would have
to be a complete fool not to buy several tickets each and every week, right? And we need
a game that is not dependent on time being spent in a seedy bar or tavern, surrounded by
smoke, where patrons endlessly slide bills into video machines waiting for that “sure
win” to come their way. We need a game where any thinking adult, even one who doesn’t
smoke and hates people who do, can walk into almost any store and lay down some
serious coin on the big money raffle. It has to be easy, painless, pleasant, and surefire.
And it will be.
These wise men and women decided that the big money raffle is the answer. Where else
can you get odds like that? One in 250,000. No smoke. No muss. No fuss. Just money
galore for one out of every 250,000th person.
And the state can continue funding these all-important areas of salmon habitat (better
watch out for those sea lions), economic development (maybe we can subtract even more
jobs from the state if we really get this department on track), parks (we must have them
and they are not cheap), and public education (maybe with more lottery money we can go
in the nation in the Education Week state rankings). Plus, with the new game, we may need more than the 13 million dollars now budgeted each and every year
for gambling addiction treatment caused by the lottery itself. In fact, I am sure we will.
The big money Oregon raffle is the best thing since roulette and baccarat. Start saving
now for your tickets. You will win. (Well, you might win.) The odds are in your favor.
Would the state of Oregon mislead you? Surely not.
"We sell a limited amount of tickets, so the odds of winning are great," says Mary Loftin,
public affairs manager for the Oregon Lottery. And there you have it.
“GREAT” odds. A sure way to fight inflation and higher gasoline prices. A no-brainer, as
they say. Ten bucks for a million? Who wouldn’t take that kind of payoff all day long? It
would take weeks to win that kind of money in Las Vegas.
And don’t forget, as you save your money for next January, Oregon loves dreamers.
BrainstormNW - September 2008