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Lottery - Tax For The Poor

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Booldawg | 08:53 Wed 12th Jun 2013 | Society & Culture
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Someone put on another thread that the National Lottery was akin to a tax for the poor.

I dont really play the lottery but it has always been a ritual to buy a scratch card on the way into work every Monday. Once a week wasnt going to break the bank, it was usually met my dissapointment anyway!

As money got tighter ironically I found myself buying a scratch card on the into work more regularly than once a week. Money that I could ill afford but I could see no other way out of a situation other than good fortune. Working more hours wasnt an option; I had 2 jobs already.

I referred to it as 'desperation tax'. I wasnt buying them for a bit of a 'flutter' I was depending on good fortune to get me out of a whole. The more you need luck the less likely it is to come your way. Before I would maybe win back the price of the ticket every 2 or 3 weeks. Nothing for months depsite buying 4 or 5 cards a week.

I think the poster was very right in describing the lottery as a tax for the poor. Or stupid if you examine the odds!

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What you are actually buying is hope - a precious commodity, albeit a forlorn one.
09:13 Wed 12th Jun 2013
People win though.

My OH spends far too much on the lottery (he can afford it) he's scared that if he doesn't put his numbers on they will come in...then he'll spend the rest of his life being bitter :-)
i think it is, hasn't the cost gone up recently, now 2 quid a line, i read that someplace, however no idea if true as i don't do it.
Tax ?!? Did folk say the same thing about the football pools before the lottery got the go-ahead ? I'm sure folk get suckered in by dreaming of the big win, but that is their free will to do so. Thus it has always been re gambling.
If it's a 'tax', it's an avoidable one. You choose to buy a lottery ticket
Em - it's £2 for the euromillions. £1 for normal lottery.
ummm it says the UK lottery will be increasing to 2 pound in the autumn, or so i read - that half the ticket will go to the Treasury.
see link...
I've seen it described as a tax on stupidity before. I think that's a bit unfair.

Most people buy a lottery ticket for a bit of fun, because they enjoy checking the numbers, with no real expectation of winning. In that sense they get value for money for their quid or whatever it is now.

If people are blowing all their income on scratch cards they can't afford, again, I'd hesitate to even call that stupidity. It's more like a gambling addiction or other mental health issue.
Ludwig, i am not sure that's the case i reckon many do buy because they want out of the poverty they are in, or can do more for themselves and their families.
What you are actually buying is hope - a precious commodity, albeit a forlorn one.
The more you need luck the less likely it is to come your way

That's not really so, though it might have happened to you. The law of averages remains the same no matter how much you need the money.
Yes it's completely unfair and rather superior!

Running racehorses is even more expensive with probably just as long odds of producing a multi-million pound winner

I've yet to see anybody tell the queen that race horses are a tax on the rich and stupid!

I do the lottery and I'm quite aware of the odds but I like the fact that I just might win a load of money and getting a few quid back from three numbers now and again brightens my week.

yes, a tax is no less a tax because it's avoidable; you might as well say the same of VAT. People still buy stuff and pay the VAT because it pleases them, and I don't see why they shouldn't buy lottery tickets on the same basis. Similar price to a portion of chips, and while there's every chance they'll be inedible and worthless there's a small chance they'll turn out to be made of solid gold.

There aren't many taxes that you can choose to pay, or not.
No-one forces you to buy a Ticket.
//People still buy stuff and pay the VAT because it pleases them, //

If people buy stuff because 'it pleases them', paying any tax imposed is avoidable. If, on the other hand, they buy from necessity, paying any tax imposed is unavoidable.
Spot on naomi.
"I do the lottery and I'm quite aware of the odds but I like the fact that I just might win a load of money and getting a few quid back from three numbers now and again brightens my week."

Me too. Where would Charlie Bucket be now if he hadn't spent his last penny on a Wonka Bar.
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Yes Octavious, that scene from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory oftens pops into my head whilst purchasing a scratch card!
Dear Booldawg,
You are spot-on - it is a tax on the poor and for the reason you give - HOPE (to get them out of the poverty hole). The rich can get richer in much easier ways like tax avoidance and investment in insider information on various activities from take-overs to horse racing (proven facts). Anyway, as a percentage of their income a lottery flutter is peanuts.
But if it's run by a private company how is it a tax? Answer - 'cos the government sanction them, knowing that for every £1 the poor give to Camelot a fraction of it goes to them via corporation tax.
A side-note Camelot have a guaranteed monopoly from the govt. So the company recently promising to keep the cost down to £1 per line plus a billion to good causes will be turned down - wait and see. Branson was turned down long ago. Interesting this love affair - maybe politicians get a back-hander via shareholding or lobbying? Question not accusation!
If the last question is "yes", it's a tax PLUS a scam.
Regards,
SIQ.

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