Yesterday morning, just as many of you probably did, I woke up pretty pissed off about the news that a lady named Mavis Wanczyk had won the second-largest Powerball jackpot in U.S. history, with the hospital worker from Chicopee, Massachusetts being the lone winner of the $758.7 million prize on Wednesday evening.
Look, it's not as if I'm pissed at Mavis — props to her for going from a hardworking American like you and I to an instant millionaire overnight after choosing a bunch of random numbers that she claims came from her family birthdays. It's that, well, it wasn't me who went from a hardworking American to an instant millionaire overnight.
Whatever, I'm over it. Not bitter at all...
Anyway, assuming you did what I did and went out and bought a bunch of Powerball tickets up prior to the drawing in hopes of winning, it got me thinking about where that money actually goes. Like, are we paying parts of Mavis Wanczyk's new millions?
Well, after doing a little research online, ironically enough, CNN Money released information about that very question, doing a report on the billions of dollars Americans spend on lottery tickets each year.
According to the aforementioned CNN Money report, Americans dropped an insane $73.5 billion on traditional lottery tickets. When you add in electronic lottery games, the figure soars to $80 billion! We sure do love spending money to be losers, huh?
And, while most of us will never win more than a couple bucks playing a scratch-off or Powerball lottery ticket, at least we know all of our financial losses are being used for a good cause, per CNN Money:
Most of that money — about $16.7 billion — went to education, while $2.5 billion went into state general funds, and $1.3 billion was spent on social programs for the homeless, the elderly and drug and alcohol treatment. Another $1.7 billion was spread among other government programs, with the smallest sliver of that pie — about $20 million — going toward state programs for problem gamblers.
Rest easy now? Probably not, but, hey, it's better than having your hard earned cash going towards someone who just won millions of dollars, right?
Hey, I don't know about you, but I'm going to keep going out there and try to become the next Mavis Wanczyk one day. And, hey, even if I never win the Powerball — which is highly unlikely — at least I can sleep well at night knowing my cash is going towards programs that need some funding.