The Florida Lottery's popularity is shooting through the roof, according to officials, who raked in $1.2 billion in sales in the first three months of 2012 alone.
The sales for both the quarter and for March are all-time records for the state; March saw almost $429 million in lottery sales, beating the previous monthly record that was set in... February.
"This has been an exciting and busy quarter for the Florida Lottery," said Secretary Cynthia O'Connell, who must have been thrilled people we so willing to give her money for no reason at all.
Sure, sure, it's about the hope, not the odds. But the state isn't being shy about telling people that tons of that money doesn't go to people actually winning.
"Our revenues are generated for one reason and that is to benefit education," O'Connell said in a release. "We are seeing record sales which are leading to record transfers to education."
Nobody's suggesting education isn't a grand thing to benefit, but every dollar the state gets to give to schools is a dollar you gave them for no reason. A news release tries to spin high sales as a good thing for everybody:
... the high volume sales are benefiting Lottery players. The games of the Florida Lottery have made 21 people millionaires so far this year, in just the first calendar quarter. Retailers have made $66 million in their commissions and cashing bonuses as well. These payouts and commissions directly benefit Florida's economy, so the Florida Lottery really is a win for all involved.
"A win for all involved"? They've taken in $1.2 billion -- that's $1,200 million -- and made 21 millionaires. More like a win for everybody but the people who think it's a good idea to buy those tickets.