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Jackpot Dreams: Playing The Lottery

Toby Talbot
A sign shows the estimated jackpot for the Powerball drawing, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, in Montpelier, Vt.

When you buy a scratch-off ticket with your tank of gasoline or weekly groceries, are you thinking about contributing to the state’s education fund, or just about the possibility of winning? Last year, all the profits from the Vermont State Lottery sent $22 million dollars into the state’s education fund. But that’s still only 2% of the state’s education budget.

We talk to Greg Smith, Executive Director of the Vermont Lottery about how the money comes in, and where it goes. We also hear from Mike Wilson, UVM Mathematics Professor about what your chances actually are of winning.

Also on the program, Middlebury College Political Science Professor Bert Johnson assesses Vermont's political terrain after the primary ballots are set. He discusses the struggle the Republican party has had to field a slate of candidates for state-wide office and the effect our tendency to return incumbents to office has on democracy.

It should be noted that some people do develop gambling addiction problems with lottery games. Below is the Vermont Problem Gambling help line for those affected by this addiction as well as the web site of the Vermont Problem Gambling Counsel.
1-800-522-4700 Help Line

Broadcast live on Wednesday, June 25 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.