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March 30th, 2012
07:27 PM ET

Are lotteries a fair way for states to raise money?

As Americans line up to buy tickets for a $640 million Mega Millions drawing, Erin Burnett asks, is this a fair way for states to raise money?


Filed under: Economy • News
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Donald

    Any tax or revenue source that I have the choice to opt out of is OK by me. Lotteries, luxury taxes, speeding tickets, liquor, tobacco and, yes, eventually, marijuana taxes are great ways to fund my government without me having to provide the funds. If you, like me, choose to give up or moderate these activities, great- that means less pressure on the health care system and safer roads. If not, pay more so I can pay less.

    April 2, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
  2. Karl Smith

    OUTFRONT and Erin Burnett SUCK !!!! only reason this stupid girl is on TV is becuase of her eyes...

    April 1, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  3. Dennis

    Wake up Erin, Cnn is using that photo.

    March 31, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  4. Joe

    Hi Erin.

    During 'The Number' segment tonight you made the best comment everyone ignores regarding the Lottery. The US federal withholding is 25% but the effective tax rate will be 35% when you file. Ignorant news, tv, and radio personalities have been reporting inaccuracies all week. One radio station claimed that the cash option value is what you receive after taxes. Just ignorant. So your pointing out the additional 10% owed to Uncle Sam is BRILLIANT. The winner would be wise to make an estimated payment to avoid penalties and interest as well. But I digress.

    Overall, I find your show a little not ready for prime time. You tend to read off the page and look away from the camera a lot. Your body language during one on one interviews has left me cringing at times. Also I some times find your reporting one sided and lacking. Like for the lottery story tonight, little was reported that the jackpot could be potentially split between numerous tickets. Allegedly $1.5 billion in tickets were sold for this drawing. There are 175 million possible combinations. That's an average potential of 8 winning tickets sold. So after all the smoke and mirrors the average winning ticket might be worth an $80M annuity or $52M cash option. I am going to guess that there will be 7 to 10 winning tickets across the country with at least one in NY and in CA.

    I usually tune into your program at 7pm weeknights 4 out of 5 nights. Primarily for lack of anything else interesting. I would like to see your show strengthened though. Please don't take my criticism as a harsh diss. I wan to see you succeed. You're way better than the limey at 9pm. 🙂 Plus I hate when they hijack your show for republican primaries and put King and as Herman Cain calls him Blitz on instead of you.

    March 31, 2012 at 12:24 am | Reply
  5. Patty Slater

    I can't believe what you said about Canadians tonight!! To say anything about a Canadian winning anything in the US is incredulous on your part. I travel to the US for all my holidays. Why you may ask? Well so that my hard earned Canadian dollars help your economy. It isn't bad enough that you have to jump through a thousand and one questions, and be harassed by ignorant Customs Officers at every visit and then to hear you say negative as you did is so discouraging. I am an avid CNN and HLN follower, but from now on when your segment comes on I'll switch to my Canadian news until you're done!

    March 31, 2012 at 12:09 am | Reply
  6. Daniel Wellington

    Somebody explain this to me please... The mega millions collected $1.5BLN to offer a potential winning pot of $640MM. So there is a difference of $860 MM (more than half is taken off the top). Of this difference, they say 35% ($301MM) goes to various participating state governments to fund worthwhile programs, then the remaining goes to fund the overhead of running the lotto.. (since when does lotto have an operating budget of any where near $559MM? (and this is just one mega million pool). If 35% is given to the governments, isn't this already state taxed money (roughly 20%)? ... This is all very weird, but let's get back to the 'winnings of $640MM'. If you win, you don't really get $640MM as the total, this the amount that you get if you take the Annuity... so the $640MM is really sitting there ready to be had. For the 26 years that the annuity pays out, Mega Millions will buy zero couple bonds that will pay this out. I'm rougly estimated that at today's horrible rates, to secure $640MM over 26 years would cost $540MM... but there is, in reality $640MM sitting here right now... so what happened to the $100MM? and if you do take the lump sum right now, why is it not $640MM? Why is it less? And why if there really is $640MM sitting there, why do they not put a positive spin on this, and say that if you win the $640MM, that you can take it as an annuity and it will pay out ultimately $750MM because the state will invest it. And it gets worse, whichever option you take, the fake $640MM 26 year annuity.. or the lump sum (which is going to be a whole lot less than the $640MM), you have to pay away 30-40% of that to the federal and state government.. keeping in mind of course, that the state governments have already taken a giant share of each dollar that was put in intially. This is voodoo accounting that only the likes of the government can get away with. And this doesn't even take into effect hte grief that the states give casinos and gambling establishments when they themselves are taking 20% of the take before a winner even has a chance. In a perfect world, the greedy states would let there be $1.5BLN in the pool and then take their share after a winner is announced. And the annuity option would be a way to actually protect the winner by investing for them...rather than a way to prop up a fake jackpot, which really isn't $640MM at all.

    March 30, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  7. thetruckinglife

    oh come on now Kevin, really?
    i think it was a fun friday thing to do, but i could be wrong.
    since everyone likes hating on Erin i am going to buy here a new Jaguar if i win the lottery.
    how do you like them apples,lol

    March 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Reply
  8. Kevin Katovic

    First of all Erin Im disapointed in you. Whoever wrote this cheap content only wasted half a second and it wasn't even a paragraph come on guys you got to do better than this. To boot its kind of a dumb question because a computer will just generate a number which doesn't exist and the lottery is the biggest scam since the invention of the stock market. And no the Glencore hasn't been approved yet. Sure you might argue this is a news website and focus on video but thats just a cop out you need real articles not fluff like this. So anyway I spent a good lengthy bit here adding to your content on how lotteries are all rigged and how its completely unfair and borderline illegal.

    March 30, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  9. Brian Lee

    22 extra million for Canadians .... perfect eh!

    March 30, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Reply

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