Mickey Z. — World News Trust
May 19, 2021
In my neighborhood (and perhaps all across the Land of Opportunity™), playing the lottery is not just state-sponsored gambling and a cleverly disguised tax on the non-rich. It's a lifestyle choice — practically a belief system. Lotto is a real American dream: Use coercive advertising to convince the poor and middle class to accept a voluntary tax by promising them a chance to be rich like all their media-created heroes. Side note: It’s an awesome victory of propaganda that most oppressed Americans strive to be exactly like their ruthless oppressors.
Now, before you get all righteous on me and drone on about Lotto money funding education, bear in mind that around two-thirds of lottery revenues go to administrative costs and prizes. The remaining billions aren’t exactly inundating the schools either. Lottery states spend less on education, on average than non-lottery states. Where does the money go? Here’s an example:
The New York State Lottery took in 9.97 billion dollars in 2018. Some 60 percent went to paying off prize winners. Then there was a cut to lottery dealers plus, all the operating expenses of such a large enterprise. When all was said and done, $3.37 billion was left for education — actually: “aid to education.” This loophole means the windfall isn’t buying books or paying teachers’ salaries. More likely, lottery money would go toward something like paying attorneys’ fees for a construction project near a school. I mean, technically, school busses may drive on a road that was repaired. A dollar and a dream? Considering what passes for education in this country, I sincerely doubt it.
Thus, it was completely out of character when I randomly played Lotto all those years ago. I was married back then and thus chose six numbers that correlated to important dates for my wife and me and dig this: four of those numbers came out. Instant karma being what it is, our prize was $519 and 5/19 was our wedding anniversary. Go figure.
We went down together to a now-defunct local newspaper stand to collect our fortune. The Muslim couple that owned the store seemed sincerely gladdened for us. They were very sweet but took forever to count out the money (mostly in fives). That’s when this chonky white guy walked in. Maybe 27 or 28, he looked over the situation and apparently gauged that we were about to vacate the premises so he strolled to the back and picked out a porno video to buy. The way it worked in the pre-internet days of yore was like this: You pick out a flick and bring the empty VHS box to the cashier who finds the matching video behind the counter. They had to do that or they would’ve been wiped out in one afternoon.
Anyway, the dude reached the counter and realized, too late, that the owners were going to count and re-count our riches. Right on cue, two other guys walked in and stood right next to him. So, there he was, standing in full view, holding a box for a movie called: “Why Did You [bleep] My Mother?” The full-color cover photo displayed a hefty naked woman, about 45, astride a happy young buck. Already giddy from winning some much-needed capital, my wife and I were simultaneously watching our money being counted and suppressing some serious giggles.
Two more customers entered — bringing the audience up to six. The Muslim woman pulled herself away from counting fives and took the box from the guy. She looked at the cover slowly and carefully before reaching down under the counter to find the correct video. With a subtle smirk (I think), she showed the mortified young man the video to verify that it was the right one. He meekly nodded “yes” as the growing crowd not-so-silently (and justifiably) judged him. The woman collected her $16. My wife and I left with our $519 and we laughed all the way home.
Mickey Z. can be found here. He is also the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on New York City streets. To help him grow this project, CLICK HERE and donate right now. And please spread the word!