'Millionaire' Local Lottery Winner Looks More Like Half a Millionaire
By Frank Parlato
While the New York State Lottery was quick to send out press releases to local media about lottery winner Margaret Dolan, 53, of Kenmore, who won $513,979 from a winning lottery ticket last week, they failed to report that her winnings came at the expense of at least an equal number of losers.
Dolan stopped at the Rite Aid at the corner of Colvin and Sheridan in the Town of Tonawanda to pick up a prescription, a greeting card and a $20 Win For Life scratch-off lottery ticket.
While most of the tens of thousands of others who bought similar tickets that day threw them out, Dolan, a special education teacher, bought a winning one.
Let no one judge the losers poorly.
Their dollars went to support schools in this state.
Last year, the New York Lottery contributed $3.04 billion to publically funded education in New York, which represents 15 percent of total state education aid to all school districts in the state.
In fact, the New York Lottery contributed more than $46 million to school districts in Niagara County and $190 million to districts in Erie County last year.
This - every bit of it - is how the world would work if it were perfect.
The needs of government paid for by people voluntarily.
No one is forced to play the Lottery. It consists of volunteers.
Instead of being forcibly taxed at the point of a gun - at the risk of losing your home through foreclosure or even going to jail for no payment - the people contribute to the government voluntarily.
Maybe even with a chance at getting all their money back and then some.
And 15 percent of taxes that would otherwise be taken forcibly from the people for schools are given voluntarily.
It almost makes one want to buy a lottery ticket - not just to win like Margaret Dolan - but to encourage this blessed system that allows people to support voluntarily what they want from government.
In fact, our only objection to the lottery is a minor one: Dolan's winning ticket was advertised as a million dollar winning ticket.
She was described in the press release as "New York State's 114th Lottery millionaire in 2013."
But she didn't get a million.
After the lump sum discount (deduct $225,000) and tax withholdings (deduct $240,0000), Dolan received a check for $513,979.
In our book $513,989 is more like half-a-million.
It would be more honest to call her (half-a) millionaire.
With a system that is so pure and good as the New York State Lottery, while spoil it by calling a duck a goose?
Make the prize a little higher and make it a million or call the winners not millionaire winners but half-millionaire winners.
Either way, count us in for a dollar- for education. It's the least we can do.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
Nov 05, 2013