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Winning Big

Sep 11, 2008
Winning the lottery is an American \"get-rich-quick\" dream. Hoping that all of their desires for fortune will come true in an instant, many people buy one or more lottery tickets every week. With such a possibility, can anyone really blame them?

Traced back to Ancient China and the Roman empire, the lottery has a long past. Communities used funds from lottery revenues to fund public projects. Such projects included the Great Wall of China and repairs of the city of Rome.

Early in the 20th century, many lotteries were seen as a form of gambling and therefore banned. In the 60's, however, they were reintroduced and began to parallel taxes as a source of revenue. Many countries from around the world have at least one lottery run by the government.

Most lotteries in the United States are regulated by individual states. However, there are also interstate lotteries like Powerball and Mega Millions. Most individual countries in Europe have games of their own, but Euromillions is a lottery that is pan-European.

Worldwide, the most common type of classic lottery is the 50-50 draw, were 50 percent of the profits are attributed to the winners. Also available are instant lottery tickets, also called scratch cards. Recently, a number of online lotteries have appeared, specially due to the less restricting Internet gambling rules.

Winning a lottery game depends on a variety of factors and has a low probability of 1 in 14 million. For example, if you bought one lottery ticket each week it would take about 250,000 years to win. When the chances are low, the jackpot is high. The popular game Mega Million has even lower probabilities of 1 in 175 million, but the jackpot is also much higher.

To the few lucky lottery winners, the end prize is rarely what was originally thought. As much as two thirds of all advertised winnings can be taken out for taxes. The two dollars people spend on weekly lottery tickets could easily turn to 30,000 in 30 years, if put in a retirement plan. That sure gets everyone thinking.

All said and done, lotteries represent, for many people, the hope of a better future. Plus, the revenues usually go to fund public institutions and programs. Better that paying the government taxes, I say. This way there is a chance the government will pay you.
About the Author
Tom Gee owns a website which gives info on Euro Millions and UK lotto,Visit national lottery results Updates and news about lottery
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