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Historic Jackpot Comes with Benefits and Hidden Costs for NY

by Will Germain
A A
lottery ticket
IslesPunkFan, flickr

States use gambling to help fund education, but some have concerns.

The Mega Millions jackpot reached a historic 640-million dollars today.  There are benefits to state sponsored gambling but it could also come with hidden costs.

States have long used gambling to help fund public education.  Last year, the New York Lottery paid over three billion to help fund New York schools.  Carolyn Hapeman, a spokeswoman for the New York Lottery, says when more people buy tickets, that translates directly to more aid for New York schools.

"New York sales have been through the roof, generating more than fifty four million in aid to education alone."

But Jim Maney, the Executive Director of the New York Council for Problem Gambling, says gambling can come at a public price. 

"When we see families ruined as a result of gambling addiction, the social costs of that are huge."

Maney says more research is needed to determine the actual costs of gambling to the public.  Currently 43 states sponsor some form of gambling.

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