John Oliver reveals just how dumb and evil the lottery really is

John Oliver on the lottery

Mo’ money, mo’ problems.

“The lottery is in the business of selling people hope,” John Oliver explained on Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight, “and they do a great job of that.” It’s just too bad your chances of winning a Mega Millions jackpot are one in 176 million, roughly equal to that of “getting struck by lightning at the same time you’re being eaten by a shark.” 

But the lottery business isn’t just raking in billions by posing as a fun, life-changing investment opportunity for low-income families—it also does little to support state education systems while ruthlessly exploiting addiction. And even the actual winners get more than they bargained for: mo’ money, mo’ problems, right?   

So really, save your money under the mattress (or, you know, invest it). And if you simply have to gamble, do so responsibly. Like at a mafia poker game or something.

Photo via Last Week Tonight with John Oliver/YouTube

Miles Klee

Miles Klee

Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions,  and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'