This weeks’ “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” topics included the construction of Turkey’s insane 1000+ room presidential palace, the .NYC web domain and the taunting of Michael Bloomberg, the awesome salmon cannon with loads of media and acting peers playing along with John and illusory state lotteries.
Most of us have been sold a load of goods by adverts that claim sate lottery funds finance scholarships for college and fund public schools, the idea that gambling proceeds are helping the poor pay for their education makes the state-sanctioned games somewhat acceptable to those who find gambling a true vice. Last night John Oliver ripped off the sheets on this filthy bed.
Oliver took a deeper look at how state lottery proceeds actually flow to students shows that lotteries often tend to benefit those who need the money the least at the expense of those who need it the most. Lotteries often function as a second tax on the poor (who are the biggest fans and participants of playing) to benefit the rich. Oliver cited research that shows that members of poor households tend to buy lottery tickets more than members of wealthy households. In essence, Oliver demonstrated how poor families are helping send wealthy students to college, as household income increases, the proportion spent on lotteries decreases. Yet the poor are still suffering with sub=standard education and test scores are a glaring indicator.
In South and North Carolina specifically, an audit of state agencies that distribute lottery money found that most of those groups don’t have policies to ensure that the money is being spent properly.
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” which aired Sunday, November 9 at 11:00p.m., ET/PT on HBO. Below are clips from Episode 124.
Oliver’s show returns on February 8, 2015!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: State Lotteries (HBO)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Salmon Cannon (HBO)