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The luck of the draw: A deeper look at lotteries

A pile of white lottery balls with black numbers on them.
Flavio Coelho
Getty Images

Earlier this month, somebody in Florida won a $1.58 billion lottery jackpot. It was the largest Mega Millions jackpot to date, although four other Mega Millions prizes over $1 billion have been won in the past five years. This hour, we’re talking about lotteries. How did this massive money redistribution game come to be? And we know that lotteries can randomly allocate cash prizes to ticket buyers – but could they also pick our political officials? Or the victims of our human sacrifice rituals to ensure that “corn be heavy soon”?


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Colin McEnroe, Stacey Addo, and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

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Carolyn McCusker helps produce The Colin McEnroe Show. She loves making true radio stories and listening to fake ones. In the past, she’s worked for NPR and WNYC, and she’s glad to be back at CT Public after interning in 2019. Carolyn can be reached at cmccusker@ctpublic.org.