Lottery Sales Set Another Record: $2.3 Billion

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Illinois lottery sold a record $2.3 billion in tickets in 2010.

That represents a 3 percent increase from the $2.2 billion sold in 2009, the old sales mark.

Of that amount, $690 million was used to support state programs. Education got most of the money ($632 million), but statewide construction projects got $54 million and $4 million went to causes like research on breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody Reports

Illinois lottery director Jodi Winette says its low-cost entertainment and a kick even if you win small.

“It’s the anticipation of winning something,” she said. “A life-changing jackpot, but even a hundred bucks is kind of a kick.

“In the middle of a down week, why not?”

The Rev. Phillip Blackwell, senior pastor, first United Methodist Church and a member of the Illinois Anti Gambling Task Force, says the lottery is simply a “back door” tax–which targets the poor.

“That’s one way that they can shake people down for money,” Blackwell said. “Rather than do it as taxing though the front door, it becomes taxing through the back door. I see that as exploitative, but I am sure they see that as progress.

“I think they are selling a dream that is really bogus.”

  • Just Axin

    Well, I’m glad this “reverend” called it a back-door tax on the poor. Considering that the poor do not pay taxes, I’m ok with them paying thru the lottery (the poor man’s stock market) Funny how when they get tickets, they also feel the need to load up on chips, 40 oz, etc.

  • The Cryptojournalist

    After the copper theft market dries up, Lottery tickets will be the next hot commodity

  • Lyndia

    First, nobody makes a person buy lottery tickets Rev. Are you concerned because those dollars should be going into you little greasy hands. Do you feel like those dollars could help you pay for your Cadillac, Lexus, BMW and send your kids to Ivy League schools? You preachers kill me. I am getting ready to play the lottery right now and hope I win 150,000.00 in the little lottery. I am also going to play the mega and powerball games this week. Who knows, I might get lucky.

  • Just Axin

    Why, I can’t believe it! A posting from you and you’re not blaming the white man and your comments actually make sense! There is hope for you :) I love you, my sista.

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