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  • Across the U.S., state lottery systems use that revenue to boost education, tourism, transportation and much more. Now that the giant Mega Millions lottery jackpot has ballooned to more than $1 billion, state officials are hoping increased national interest in securing the top prize will result in more funding for their own causes. However, critics of these lottery-funded programs note that lower-income players foot the bill for benefits they won't proportionately reap.
  • Lottery retailers in nearly every state are clustered in lower-income neighborhoods, driving a wealth transfer from less affluent and educated Americans to the multinational corporations that are increasingly managing the day-to-day operations of the state-sanctioned gambling games. A new investigation from the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland found that, in almost every state, lottery retailers are concentrated in lower-income neighborhoods that are disproportionately Black and Hispanic. The investigation also used, for the first time, mobile phone data to show that lottery retail store customers are mostly local. The center also found few checks on aggressive advertising and marketing of the games.
  • A man who dreamed of winning the lottery bought a scratch-off ticket the next day and won $300,000. WCBD-TV reports the lucky winner purchased a $10 Money Maker lottery ticket from the Rania Mart in North Charleston. He scratched it while sitting in the parking lot and says he was thrilled when he saw the result. He called the win "life changing." The man told lottery officials he called out of work and drove to Columbia to collect his prize. The store received a $3,000 commission for selling the ticket.