SHARE
COMMENTARY
Powerball
(William W. Savage III)
Advertisement

With Oklahoma’s current leadership declaring 2016 a revenue failure and facing a nearly $900 million shortfall for next year’s budget, it’s time to look somewhere else to fund this state’s hopes and dreams.

It’s time we win the lottery.

According to the New York Daily News, a recent rule change to the Powerball system has led to some of the biggest payouts in history, surging to a $1.6 billion dollar prize momentarily in 2016. If Oklahoma continues to be foolish with our money, why not go all the way and try to get lucky?

Just because something is a regressive tax doesn’t mean it can’t be a progressive tax.

Powerball: It’s simple arithmetic

There are about 3.8 million people in this state. According to Lottery USA, the odds of winning the big money are 1 in 292,201,338. That puts the entire state’s odds of collectively winning the lottery at 1 in 76 if every single person bought a ticket … featuring different number combinations. (Obviously, parents would have to buy their kids’ tickets. We’re not savages.)

Also, if we don’t win, no big deal. It’s not like Oklahoma perpetually wins stuff. We’re a place of tempered expectations. Besides, some of the money used to purchase tickets would go to fund our failing education system. And by some, I mean exactly that: The lottery’s contribution to the state’s education system hit a low in 2015, according to Oklahoma Policy Institute.

‘Why not?’

Getting people on board with this lucky lotto proposal might be tough. This is a state of contrasting forces, after all. It’s the place where Christians seeking to install a Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol butt heads with Satanists summoning the Dark Lord in one fell swoop.

Maybe we should just tax oil production at least the same amount as South Dakota?

In the words of Oklahoma City’s patron saint, Russell Westbrook, “Why not?

Advertisement