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The Lottery: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

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State lotteries claim to be good for education and the general wellbeing of citizens. But are they? (Spoiler alert: No.) Connect with Last Week Tonight online... Subscribe to the Last Week Tonight YouTube channel for more almost news as it almost happens: www.youtube.com/user/LastWeekTonight Find Last Week Tonight on Facebook like your mom would: http://Facebook.com/LastWeekTonight Follow us on Twitter for news about jokes and jokes about news: http://Twitter.com/LastWeekTonight Visit our official site for all that other stuff at once: http://www.hbo.com/lastweektonight
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Text Comments (4833)
Christopher Geschke (4 hours ago)
My college education was mostly funded by the state lottery. Hope Scholarship in And cutting corporate taxes is good for businesses and attracts new business to move to your state, which increases jobs. What's the downside again?
Christopher Geschke (4 hours ago)
Why do able, independent, free thinking Americans need protection from $1 scratch offs? Can't we decide what to spend our money on without some nanny telling us no? I thought it was right wing evengelicals that moralized about shit like this. What ever happened to personal responsibility? SMH 🙄
Collex (4 days ago)
Seems to me the problem is not that States run gambling, is that they run it badly. I live in Quebec, Canada. All gambling is state-run. Lottery? State-run. Casinos? Owned by the province. Video-poker machine? Profits split between the bar owner and the province. Heck, if you want to have a raffle, if the cash value of the prize is over a certain amount (I think 1000$ but not sure) you have to get a license. But never does the province advertise it as "Money for education." The justification is "If not us, then corporations or worse, criminals. At least here all the profits goes back to the province, and a portion of them are earmarked for ressources to fight against gambling addiction." Our province also controls the sale of alcohol and has state-run liquor store.
fuxstar666 (5 days ago)
I’m going to start playing the lottery
sTmPanda (5 days ago)
My dad once got mad at me for not playing the lottery the day after I quit my job. "If you don't play you can't win" yeah.. well my $2 can buy a weeks worth of eggs that don't need false hope to feed me.
Bennett (7 days ago)
Crazy to find an episode not littered with trump
Selvatore bonucci (7 days ago)
Bill Nye said " the odds of winning a lottery ticket is like playing the russian rullet game with a revolver that has 200 million chambers, all loaded with bullets , except just a one empty chamber, and not dying.
Aneesah GIlbert (8 days ago)
I have a friend who is in her 40's that is addicted to cigarettes and lottery tickets and she buys them at the same newspaper stand.  She spends almost 30 dollars.  And if she wins on a scratch off she uses that money to buy more tickets. Sad reality. Poor people tax.
Asmo day (9 days ago)
lottery play with the hope of the poor we shoulb be ashamed that ur gouvernment use it again us to get money....
Ahmad Awwadeh (16 days ago)
This is why Islam prohibited: 1- Gambling. 2- Drinking alcohol. 3- Usury ( Which banks do to people who are in need). and this is why many governments, banks, businesses, and many others fund media and even wars to fight Islam. I believe all religions did a favour for the communities and made us civilised people as most of us now a days by teaching the old and the new generations humanity, principles, and planted in people the self monitoring because we believe that God (Allah) is watching us and that there will be a reward ( heaven / Jannah ) or even a hell for the people who really really deserve it. I am not saying that people can not be civilised or good without religions, I am saying religions started it and are still helping, but of course media focus on the odd and rare cases. And I know that many people had ruined religions by doing the wrong things by the name of the religions. I hope my comment will not create hate, because at the end I watched the video to laugh same as everyone else. And I respect and love all of good people regardless of their religions or believes. peace for everyone 👽 🧕🧔👱‍♂️👱‍♀️🤵👳‍♂️💂‍♂️
Henry Herrera (17 days ago)
Yet if you read the back of the ticket it says, if you have a gambling problem please call said number on the slip.. so its known to already be a gambling game cause you put money in and never get it back unless you win, sounds like a gamble to me. So I only play once in a blue moon. in reality though if everyone pitched in a dollar in the US you will get 300 Million, hand that to one person and then do it again 300 million times and everyone in the US will be millionaires, everyone is a winner now.
Jeffrey Tan (19 days ago)
How can a Palestinian from Gaza buy a lottery ticket and win the prize ? First he a muslim and he can’t gamble second he is from Gaza where strict Islamic Law rule
pforce9 (21 days ago)
I would blow a third on booze and drugs, a third on pussy and probably just waste the rest on nonsense.
Robo Flowey (24 days ago)
At 1:21 he looks at his croch what is it 😏🤔😑😐😕🙁☹️😰😨😣😖😫
Ty Cobb (24 days ago)
9:10 I wanna know what happened to that woman who spent her grocery money on the lottery
Doubtful Guest (26 days ago)
0:27 He's talking about New York here, right? Idk if winning the lottery is prerequisite for this behaviour in New York.
LodanSD (26 days ago)
I've spent exactly $97 of my own money on the Lottery, I've won exactly $18, I've spent exactly $12 of Lottery Winnings on the Lottery, and I haven't bought any tickets of any sort in the past 12 years. As long as you keep accurate track of your spending, you'll know when to stop.
Lisa Hoffman (27 days ago)
Everyone in America, Canada, and elsewhere who's not in a position of privilege is controlled and has been for a long time.
Caleb Silvers (28 days ago)
Hiw fucked is it that as soon as i watched this i went and blew 200 on lotto.
Mel Gibson (30 days ago)
In Canada the government does run the liquor stores
Amen Assefa (1 month ago)
"Fuck You, Evolution. I decide who flies"
Calib Furry Tour (1 month ago)
Furries don't have human faces as part of their suit! XD
Gzus70 (1 month ago)
whoa hold the fuck up you can't blame a video slot or poker machine for someone being a piece of shit with no willpower who fucks themselves and others over. If anything we should use these machines to filter out the worthless trash that circulates through our world
AtheisticConclusion (1 month ago)
I don't know if this has been pointed out, but crossed fingers isn't the universal sign for lying at all, it's the universal sign for hoping for a certain outcome, which could be that someone buys the bullshit you said, or not getting caught for something (which would have been a more accurate way to spin it) but what he said is Ridiculously disingenuous.
DeeJay Exe (1 month ago)
I guess i'm lucky the lottery is against my religion
William Colt (1 month ago)
believe it or not, I'd argue john that a state sponsored liquor business would be much better than a state sponsored gambling business.
Lost Causes (1 month ago)
Used to come to this show for clever writing, now I come here for transparency... funny it took a Britt to bring some honesty into American politics... there's a joke in there I'm sure of it...
Progressive Overload (1 month ago)
As a kid grown up in a family ruined by gambling addiction this really hits me. My mom was a single mother, she raised me and my brother alone. She had a decent job, we're not rich but we are not poor either. When i was 13 my mother started to get addicted into this poker machine. Her addiction gotten so bad that i had to drop out of high school and start working to support her and my little brother. I somehow managed to complete my education up to bachelor degree albeit at the somewhat late age of 28. I now work a decent job as a sales manager at a small scuba dive equipment company. I dont regret it now but sometimes i wonder what would i be now if my mother were able to fund my education properly. Sorry if my english are bad, not my first language.
Mr. Meeseeks (1 month ago)
SlumShark Gillionare actually sounds like a great stupid comedy movie.
AmuletRebel (1 month ago)
I'm from Illinois and now feel so ashamed.
he knows my mom
21 out of 24 is actualy NEARLY 90%!
cloudsweapon567 (1 month ago)
To be fair- We are not forced to piss away money on gambling. It's a completely free choice we have. So we should also talk more personal responsibility.
Chocolate Tampon (1 month ago)
You're more likely to die in a car crash on your way to get the lottery ticket than winning ;)
mrknockknock1 (1 month ago)
I have never played the lottery, which is why I've had 100% success rate, and significantly more profit than any lottery player in history. :P
mrknockknock1 (1 month ago)
I wouldn't entirely blame the government for exploiting people's stupidity. The people are also responsible for what's happening to them. If people grow smarter, the government will stop the whole lotto madness because the general public won't be dumb enough to engage in it. It works both ways.
G L (1 month ago)
And this why all the teachers are walking out of schools and asking for more pay and more funding for education for the schools and that dush in our whitehouse just says it all about them waiting more pay for themselves
Jona DER Jona (1 month ago)
And who wouldn't remember good ol' russian lottery?
CatsMeowPaw (1 month ago)
Wait... Nevada doesn't have lotteries? The capitol of compulsive gambling in the USA doesn't have a stupid tax?
Roland Michel (2 months ago)
It's been decided... That's how I'm going out, I will be eaten by a Shark that is simultaneously being Tazed to simulate the lightening strike. The shark leaves slightly dazed, but with a full belly of humanely raised, gluten-free People Meat and I get the Fuck outta here! YOLO , said no Buddhist, ever!
edyH llykeJ (2 months ago)
Pls make that shark movie
Lab Matt (2 months ago)
One time I joined a livestream that was giving away 100 keys for their game. There were less than 200 people online, my odds of winning were well over 50%, and I still didn't get a key. And that is why I don't gamble.
Sakib Rahman (2 months ago)
Playing lottery is Haram in Islam.. but y'all are afraid of sharear law taking your freedoms away.. so...
vincentpol (2 months ago)
There should be a limit on how much a lottery can pay out to a single winner. Something like 20 year salary of the average income, which is a nice relative metric that changes every year.
eric dietz (2 months ago)
Weird thing, lotteries sell hope, but it's more likely you benefit that faith based hope. OUCH!
Tyler (2 months ago)
I won the lottery It was a scratch off, I won 3 dollars.
kotku (2 months ago)
omg the tom cruise example was sooo on point 😂😂😂.. i just got out of a relationship with a scientologist and can’t stop laughing at that joke.
kyle magaro (2 months ago)
If I won the lottery I certainly wouldn't want my name publicized.
Erik Merrill (2 months ago)
I’m suppose to feel bad for people voluntarily giving their money away for irrational reasons? 😂😂😂😂😂😂
Jeffrey Tan (2 months ago)
Come do a show on Singapore lottery singaporepools . U can’t find any flawed I dare u mr John Oliver
Niall Walsh (2 months ago)
Slightly off topic, but with reference to 14:04, the Canadian province of Ontario actually has a state-run monopoly on liquor stores, and it has done since 1916. The business brings in CAD$1.8bn per year for the province. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquor_Control_Board_of_Ontario
Forest Frost (2 months ago)
In my country there are a lot of types of lottery, and people trust in it, all rulled by the state and by federal government.
Charlie Hanson (2 months ago)
PsychoAlexander (2 months ago)
Every time people discuss about thing like this, some always argue "people should be responsible for their own money". Guess what, some people are just weak in that matter and are easily addicted. So should they just go fck themselves? Or should a civilized government help protect them with laws? I bet (not in the gambling sense) those who are against legal protections for the addicts are also in favor of genetic genocide so the weak die out? Hmm, that means everyone then, unless you prove by definition that you are perfect being free of any weaknesses possible in any way of making your survival less likely.
Abison Brown (2 months ago)
if all this money goes to schools . then why are our schools in such dire need.
Kitty Frisco (2 months ago)
My take is that all lotteries are rig and a nothing more than a scam! the lottery commissions never explain to the public that all lottery rollovers are a sham. They actually have control of how big the jackpots will grow, where the winner will come from including state city etc. It's all done on computer data and then they distribute the winning ticket through one maybe more lottery terminals to make it look honest. I monitor the Texas lottery and find that down in Houston Texas and all of it's suburbs have the repeat history of continuous winners. More lottery winners come from the Houston area than anywhere else in Texas. So I emailed the Texas Lottery Commision to inquire why this was happening all the time. They replied back and said that Houston was a huge metroplex and that people there buy a lot of lottery tickets. OK so I emailed them back and informed them that Dallas Texas is also a huge metroplex and so is San Antonio and Austin and El Paso have a fairly good size population. And next thing I know people in the Dallas area started winning more often but not as often as those in the Houston area. My concern was for the lottery people to spread the wealth, again after Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston area last year. Again lottery winners appeared from the Houston area.
Chartoise (2 months ago)
This show is mocking the poor. John Oliver has his money, he can talk about the maths of the lottery. But for many of us, financial security will never happen. We can't invest, we can't start a business and we will not be promoted at our jobs. That lottery ticket is the only prospect we have on becoming financially stable. The chance is small, but at least there IS a chance. It's better than having no chance at all. Laugh about it, if you will... But it's actually kinda sad, and it may show an underlying problem of our society.
wave 34 (15 days ago)
Chartoise you explained your opinion in a really intelligent, human way.
Seppe De Coninck (2 months ago)
In France, a new lottery was started. The government wanted to fund more protected buildings, but didn't have the money. Then they started the new lottery. I think all of the income that lottery generated goes to those buildings.
taco Burrito-Cat (2 months ago)
Oregon Is true tho
Heather Hillman (2 months ago)
So...... maybe people should be more responsible with their money by not gambling with the grocery money. There's a saying that every citizen should take to heart: "Never gamble with more money than you can afford to lose". It shouldn't be up to the states to determine the ethics of the lottery. A free society means personal responsibility, not nanny laws because a portion of the population can't control themselves.
Martine Sejour (2 months ago)
More like a needle in a haystack. Lmao. But still hoping for a 🎁like that.
Joseph DeGregorio (2 months ago)
F Oregon!
Rotterly ... (👎💲) which sounds kinda of like Rott early ...hmm 📬
Ken Havens (3 months ago)
On a pure risk reward basis....buying a couple of tickets a month isn't going to break anyone's bank. People do win, the odds of a specific person winning is tiny,but overall someone will win eventually. Don't spend more than a few bucks a month on them, or one a month.
seededsoul (3 months ago)
13:56 Lets see...you buy a shot for $7, pay 5% sales tax, that's about $0.35 directly to the state coffers. Probably more than a $1 lottery ticket!
seededsoul (3 months ago)
12:07 aka money is fungible Great reason to not believe earmarked funds for major spending areas (education, parkas and rec, etc).
Street Guru (3 months ago)
I know the odds, but $104 a year at a chance at never working again seems worth it.
animalamu (3 months ago)
Lotteries used to be publicized as a fund-raising tool.
Leanne Blake (3 months ago)
What Makes me Sick , that in America you pay TAX on your Win. So greedy.
Jaded Old Joe (3 months ago)
Here's a lottery loophole that used to work (dunno if it still does): My uncle used to own a store and this guy came in every week and bought an entire, unopened roll of scratch tickets. I think it cost him $350-$400, but there were so many guaranteed winners in every roll, that he'd win something like $1000-$10000 every fucking week. Again, don't know if that still works, but there you go. Now, go win those kids a fucking iPad!
Jaded Old Joe (3 months ago)
seededsoul like I said, I don't know if it still works, but it 100% worked back then. Moreover, there's like 350+ tickets per roll, so it shouldn't shock you to think someone tripled their investment.
seededsoul (3 months ago)
Jaded Old Joe Doesn't add up. There should be randomly distributed winners in each pack. I can believe he would win big once in a while, but not every time.
Jaded Old Joe (3 months ago)
The lottery is a fucking state sanctioned fraud, no doubt. However, I have no sympathy for degenerate gamblers who lose all their shit. I dunno, self control is a thing -- maybe they should try it. Eh, whatever, it's America: whine and make excuses. RIP Responsibility.
Slow Mo (3 months ago)
Since there are people winning jackpots, there must have been people being eaten by sharks while being struck by lightning. Why haven’t we ever heard about one.
seededsoul (3 months ago)
Slow Mo They ded.
gonzalez7935 (3 months ago)
I still want to win it.
cumquatrct3 (3 months ago)
Hasn't The Asylum picked up that idea for a straight-to-Syfy TV movie yet?
Follow Media (3 months ago)
you're more likely to be diagnosed with any type of cancer in the next 5 minutes than to win the mega millions for the next 100 life times playing it twice a week every week
Max Berends (3 months ago)
This is the most creative way I have known the USA-states to make up for their poor Tax income :P And characteristically. . it enhanced the gap between rich and poor in so many ways.
seededsoul (3 months ago)
Max Berends Hey eurotrash...America makes a very minuscule amount of government income off of lotteries, suck my left nut.
Brandi Knepper (3 months ago)
I work at a gas station. Daily I sell more than I can count. One customer easily spends 160 dollars a day on tickets, had another woman buy 200 dollars worth of scratch-offs and lost on all of them. Another woman spends 50 a day. We don't have machines, but we have a customer that will easily spend 2 hours playing lottery at the store. It almost seems like people will spend half of their paychecks there. I work in a small low income town. Everyone's bored and has a gambling problem.
Ghost (3 months ago)
1:12 that’s me
EAS (3 months ago)
The Oregon Lottery logo has a line drawing of crossed fingers, also known as the symbol of lying.
Ian MacEwen (3 months ago)
Wait, more money making than VIDEO GAMES?
David Stratton (5 days ago)
AND porn !
seededsoul (3 months ago)
Ian MacEwen Hmm, industry seems to be worth about $23.5B now.
brian hart (3 months ago)
Lol #North Carolina
Nate Aaron (3 months ago)
The part of about the state being in the liquor business... my home town the city owned both liquor licenses. The liquor stores were great, always asking for ID. But yeah, every shot of vodka funds the schools.
Abhi patel (3 months ago)
Gives us a metaphor *Pulls out a freaking bottle of vodka*
Cole Snider (3 months ago)
The gambling machines aren't causing her "trouble"; her lack of self control and fiscal responsibility are.
Smilley MLK (3 months ago)
That's the "guns don't kill people" excuse. An addiction that cannot be easily fed will go away much faster and more lasting.
anonamous365 (3 months ago)
"The machines that are causing" - stupid dbag statement.
Roken The Sayian (3 months ago)
Fuck u evolution i decide who flies. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
Michael Mikulsky (3 months ago)
nice grey tie on a checkered shirt john, i love your show, but get better fashion sense
WinDoSa (3 months ago)
Gambling is for people who don't live from paycheck to paycheck. If you're barely able to feed yourself and/or others who depend on you, you're just plain stupid and don't deserve the money to be honest.
Christopher Beattie (3 months ago)
Stupid people tax
David Hays (3 months ago)
Why the hell is it common practice to "divert" funds like these. The funds that are raised for a certain reason should be used for that reason. It should be common sense.
Mac Hughes (3 months ago)
I live in oregon and it is absolutely true they are EVERYWHERE! Chinese restaurants, grocery stores, bars of course, and even fairgrounds. Our casinos even give $10 free every Wednesday to women just for showing up.
Cheng Liu (3 months ago)
I never understand the appeal of the lottery. From what I've heard, you have a better chance at winning that kind of money as a casino.
Eric Durkin (3 months ago)
Deinterlace! You're on HBO ffs
Jamal Nichols (3 months ago)
Wow the humor in the old episodes is so much wittier, better integrated and more effortless. Watching this makes me realize why I used to really love this show and why I don’t like it anymore
Scrimmy Bingus (3 months ago)
Member when this wasn’t “The Trump is Bad Show?” I member.
Grovel (3 months ago)
If I win the lottery. I am starting a YouTube channel about it.
André Felipe Gaudio (3 months ago)
Look at Brazil. The ONLY POSSIBLE lottery is the state one. The others are forbidden
Kevin (3 months ago)
I'd still like to win the lottery, but need to spend it in smart investments before I lose it all if I win. Just have to play the same numbers if the jackpot is big. Nothing wrong with a little bit of hope.
Alysa Lanier (3 months ago)
I disagree with his stance. I agree the system is flawed and some of his examples were outright gambling and those should defiantly be band. Instead of getting rid of the lottery I think the laws around it should be reformed. Making sure that the money goes to the causes the advertise it go towards in addition to other funding.
Thanks for this

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