While the growing expansion of casinos and state-sanctioned sports betting steal the spotlight, state lotteries have nearly doubled in size over the past two decades, driving a multibillion-dollar wealth transfer from low-income U.S. communities to powerful multinational companies.
Life is tough. It's tougher when you're stupid.
On a snowy April day, Standifer stopped by the Korner Party Store in this Detroit suburb, its largest sign advertising “Beer Wine Lotto,” to buy scratch-off tickets. She buys scratch tickets three times daily. Four years ago, she won $1,000 on a $3 ticket, but she hasn’t won big since. [...]
“Yesterday I spent like $130 and I won like $85,” Standifer said, meaning she lost $45.