'Suckers' story is demeaning

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Bloomberg Rankings’ March 14 article about Georgia Lottery players – placing the state’s participants in a so-called “Sucker Index” – failed to meet the basic standards of journalism, grossly lacking fairness, objectivity and accuracy.

The authors ignored critical data from
unbiased, independent sources that contradict their claims, and omitted facts that would have provided appropriate context.

Even the original headline – that Georgia Lottery players “spend most for least” – is false and misleading. According to statistics from lottery industry publication La Fleurs, Georgia ranked No. 4 in per-capita profit to its citizens in fiscal year 2011.

THE ARTICLE states that lottery players in Georgia are “doing the most damage to their personal finances” and that “the pot comes disproportionately from lower-income residents.”

However, a Gallup poll found that lower-income Americans, defined as those in households with incomes below $25,000, are less likely to have gambled in the past year than those earning upwards of $75,000 annually. The Georgia County Guide reports that Georgia’s 10 poorest counties accounted for less than 1 percent of Georgia Lottery sales in fiscal year 2009.

More than 80 percent of all Georgians have played the lottery, according to a recent study. Ninety percent of Georgia Lottery players have a high-school education, and more than half of that number have at least received some college education and beyond, states The Media Audit.

The assertion that Georgia residents spend a larger percentage of their incomes on lottery tickets than Massachusetts residents, whose per-capita incomes are almost $20,000 higher, is unsound. Any purchase made is a higher percentage of your income if you earn less, whether it’s lottery tickets, bread or gas.

GEORGIA RESIDENTS feel good about purchasing a lottery ticket because they know that all profits fund the HOPE Scholarship and pre-K programs. With more than 2.5 million Georgia students benefiting from HOPE and pre-K, almost everyone in Georgia knows someone who has benefited from these important educational programs.

Adults have the freedom to spend their discretionary dollars as they choose, and we appreciate that Georgians support their lottery and the educational programs it funds.

To call Georgia Lottery players “suckers” is disrespectful, unfair and irresponsible. The Bloomberg “article” would have been better suited for the editorial page.

(The writer is media relations manager for the Georgia Lottery Corp.)

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InChristLove 03/18/12 - 08:21 am
Ms. Reddick, I'm not sure

Ms. Reddick, I'm not sure what all the Gallup poll's say but here is an evaulation done by two gentlemen from UGA "THE DISTRIBUTIONAL IMPACTS OF LOTTERY-FUNDED AID: EVIDENCE FROM GEORGIA’S HOPE SCHOLARSHIP" that I found interesting. It seems to contradict your estimation that lower income Americans gamble less.

"Third, lottery play is heaviest among African Americans (National Gambling Impact Study Commission 1999, p. 3-4). Clotfelter (1979), Clotfelter and Cook (1987), Borg and Mason (1988), Hansen (1995) and Price and Novak (2000) all argued that lottery expenditures are disproportionately higher for African Americans than for whites.
Stranahan and Borg (1998) argued that although African Americans were not more likely to play than whites, conditioned on playing, they spend much more on lottery tickets than whites.

"On the lottery revenue side, our analysis supports the standard conclusions that African Americans, low-income and poorly educated people spend relatively more on lottery tickets. By including variables
that most studies omit, we show that areas that receive large transfers from the government in the form of welfare or unemployment compensation also spend relatively more on the lottery while black Baptists spend significantly less."


You stated "Any purchase made is a higher percentage of your income if you earn less, whether it’s lottery tickets, bread or gas." Yes, but the question is, is what you purchase with a higher precentage of your income a necessity for life and living or throwing money down the drain in most cases on a hope or chance?

peace4784 03/18/12 - 08:55 am
Whites people love to appear

Whites people love to appear more righteous when it comes to playing the lottery, comsuming illegal drugs or participating in any vice. Whites like to say that black are throwing their money down the drain. However, the whites fail to mention is that they are the drain collecting the money. Whites profit the most from every dubious vice in this country and around the world. Especially, the conservative, religious looking whites. Jesus was called people these type of people whitewashed tombs. Bottom line the blacks and minorties are throwing their money down a drain which fill coffers of greedy white people. Its just like the greedy whites who maunufacturer alcohol and tobacco. Then, try to blame the consumer for not practicing self controll when they are harmed by the product in which they produce. It's called hypocrisy.

wondersnevercease 03/18/12 - 09:37 am
Nice spin Tandi......but it

Nice spin Tandi......but it doesn't wash.

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