Thursday, June 18, 2009
#745 ... Big Wednesday
The television news cameraman filming the action as punters line up to get their Big Wednesday Lotto ticket ... NZ$25 million up for grabs ... but no one won .. so it jackpots to a must win draw for next Wednesday
Article on Problem Gambling
The Problem Gambling Foundation wants the size of lottery jackpots reviewed, saying winning is an impossible dream and they are a cruel hoax. It comes as punters queue in the hopes of netting a record Big Wednesday jackpot worth more than $25 million tonight. But the people who deal with the fall-out from what they call "an impossible dream" want the jackpots kept to a level below that at which excitement reaches fever pitch.
Chief executive Graeme Ramsey wants the current $30 million cap cut to $12.5 million. He says surely that is enough money for anyone in this country - and over that amount people get lured into spending more than they can afford on tickets. Sales can more than double during very large jackpots and some of the foundation's clients have spent hundreds on tickets after getting caught up in the hype.
Communications director David Coom adds record jackpots are an insidious way of sucking people into gambling who can barely afford it. He says it creates a culture of envy and greed at a time when many people are vulnerable due to the economic recession. The Problem Gambling Foundation is also calling on the Government to review the selling of Lotto tickets online, and for greater transparency of the chances of winning. Victoria University anthropologist Peter Howland says people are more likely to die in an plane crash than win Big Wednesday tonight. He says the odds of hitting the jackpot tonight are a dismal one in 38 million, making it a near certainty that if you buy a ticket, you will lose.
"Those odds are so astronomical they're outside of everybody's everyday experience . . . outside of everybody's ability to comprehend." Dr Howland says despite the unlikely odds, two million tickets were sold for Bid Wednesday last week alone.