Losing with the lottery

The thoughtful piece, "No, Virginia, There Is No Jackpot," Oct. 29, which shows the lottery to be a scam, is a good example of journalism at its best.In the late 19th century, Goethe was deeply impressed by the ruinous effects of the state-supported lottery he saw while traveling in Italy. In his witches-kitchen scene from "Faust," he has the cynical Mephisto remark: "How lucky every monkey would think himself/ If he could only play the lottery too." Why do I care? I've been a teacher for the past 31 years and thus hate to see our culture giving up on the idea that individuals and communities have some measure of control over their own destinies. Salvatore F. Allosso, Woodland, Calif.

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