New York: The Longest Shot

Disraeli observed that "there is no gambling like politics." Even so, the odds may be a bit better in politics than they are in New York's new game of chance, a state-sponsored lottery that was started this month with the intent of raising some $198 million a year for state education programs. Blackjack almost gives the sucker an even break; one-armed bandits may pay back as much as 50% of the take; even New York City's illegal numbers racket offers the player a 999-to-l chance.

However worthy its object, New York's state lottery, at $1 per chance, gives the bettor the...

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