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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 (4967)
Traffic Time (2 days ago)
the lottery... a tax on morons...
Raymond Foster (3 days ago)
can LWT please do revisited to the past stories??
Joker (4 days ago)
This is a matter of bunch people with no self control and imagination. But we blame the people who allowed the lottery? Now this is pathetic. These people are no victims of nothing, no one cheat them of nothing, they weren’t forced to play and you can be sure that they are not forced to keep playing. Don’t blame the system for your stupidity. If they were to sale you a granate to play with it and it kills you, it’s your fault. You aren’t kids. People are just too easy to manipulate nowadays, it isn’t even funny anymore.
Chad van dyke (4 days ago)
i grew up in oregon and worked at a place that was a front for these video lottery machines. the law prohibits more than 5 machines per establishment so my employers built 3 separate "bars" in one building to have as many as possible. sold the minimum amount of food/drink to qualify as a "bar" or "restaurant" or whatever. within crawling distance there were at least a dozen other of these places. watched people put their rent money in it over and over. kicked people out at 1am and saw the same people there at 6am the next day, waiting to play the same machine again. shit is videoCRACK
Booty Eater (6 days ago)
Is no one going to address there’s still people paying for porn? That’s the real story here.
Buff Natsuki (6 days ago)
You say oregon has a lot? Once i went to vegas, and there was a CASINO INSIDE A CVS IM NOT SHITTING U
Edward Francis (9 days ago)
Did the writers of this piece seriously not realize that many states ARE involved in the sale of alcohol? Pennsylvania is one of them... Only place you can buy liquor wine or beer in PA is in a state-run liquor store.
llinkii (9 days ago)
slots machines are banned in switzerland since over 15 years :D we are just so futuristic xD
Nathan Yuen (11 days ago)
All I'm saying is that the first thing I saw in Canada was a huge casino
Surgé Land (11 days ago)
Suddenly Shirley Jackson isn't so unbelievable.
sea monkey (13 days ago)
My grandma is addicted to a lottery called joker. Which is so ironic, because joker literally means “you lose”
life42theuniverse (16 days ago)
176 million to 1 ...so If everyone in america played completely random distribution of numbers 2 people may win per draw
Murtuza Bhabhrawala (19 days ago)
I want an Indian version of this show with Shekhar Suman as Host
Frank Bowman (19 days ago)
My dad's co-worker won the state lottery, and within two years, he and his wife had burned through all the money (14 million) AND had run up debts. They eventually had to return and work at the factory, and took side jobs, as well. The money stress caused them to divorce, and they even became substance abusers, all because of that damned lottery ticket. It's like the fucking monkey's paw!
Little Pig (22 days ago)
Fun fact: You’ve got the same chance of winning the lottery as having all the letters of the alphabet in your name. Twice!
L J (23 days ago)
The promise of getting something for almost nothing. The American Dream. Saving is so blasé. Addiction equals impoverishment, legal or illegal.
lol nope (29 days ago)
1 like= 1 dollar towards the budget of Slum Shark Gillionaire
Peter Vesalius (1 month ago)
But, haven’t we stop paying for music and porn in this day and age??
Gary Oesterle (1 month ago)
The Secret: As everyone knows, the odds of any individual number coming up is as likely as any other. What people don't realize is that there are patterns of numbers or "arrangements" of numbers that come up far more often. If you focus on a pattern rather than the individual numbers, you are more likely to win the lottery when your pattern comes up. You just have to buy multiple tickets that fit the "pattern". Make sense?
Gary Oesterle (1 month ago)
And telling you this does nothing to decrease my odds of winning. It merely increases yours.
James Edwards III (1 month ago)
Lotteries are just moneymaking slush funds for greasy politicians. I grew up in Las Vegas and i got to see a lot of gambling firsthand, which is why i don't do it. In Nevada, State lotteries are still illegal, and im with them on this issue. Originally Nevada upheld the ban on lotteries because the Mob had a monopoly on all gambling, and state legislators did not want government officials getting involved in any way shape or form with the mob or their rackets. As i understand it, to this day elected officials are uniformly disbarred from gambling by the Nevada Gaming Commission and can face jail time for gambling in any way.
James Edwards III (28 days ago)
Pretty much.
lol nope (29 days ago)
Oh, okay, so the state most famous for gambling basically disallows its own government from owning any sort of gambling business?
James Edwards III (29 days ago)
No, i don't think there are. State run casinos would be a direct violation of Nevada State Law, and the Nevada Gaming Commission is pretty draconian. As far as i know, all of the casinos are, more or less, privately owned. Im not sure what they are doing up in Reno, as I've never been, but im pretty sure its still the same deal as in Las Vegas, being that they are both in Nevada. Im also not sure what they were doing in New Orleans these days. Interestingly, a few years ago i found out that there is a small "casino" here in Sacramento. Which i thought was weird, but i don't honestly know what California's take on gambling is anymore. I THOUGHT casinos were outlawed, which is why all of the casinos WERE on the Nevada side of Stateline, but its been a long time since I've lived in Vegas and things may have changed.
lol nope (29 days ago)
James Edwards III So now, are there state run casinos, like there are in Ohio? Or are casinos run privately (not necessarily by the mob)
James Edwards III (29 days ago)
That is correct. At the time the mob ran all of the casinos. The state did not want a state-run lottery because, as a form of gambling it would compete directly with the casios, which meant that government officials were even more likely to be sucked into the world of the mob and be corrupted. The mob was fine with the ban because they did not want a state-run lottery competing with their casinos for the same cash. The ban was meant to help keep politicians and vice separate as much as possible. Most Las Vegas locals who want to play a lottery just take the drive to Stateline (Or Prim of you hold to the old name, or play Fallout New Vegas) and buy lottery tickets there. Consequently, Stateline leads California in lottery sales.
Jack Jack (1 month ago)
I don't even remember the last time I played the lottery.
Chris Lettig (1 month ago)
Spartacus (1 month ago)
12:11 needs two hands... impressive 😉
Steve Scott (1 month ago)
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Nick Walsh (1 month ago)
Education? Entirely irrelevant. Those children are better used to purge the heretics and mutants and burn the xenos in the name of the God Emperor. TO THE STARS!
Gabe (1 month ago)
I don't really like the tonight show, but fuck state run lottery
Larsen Villaranda (1 month ago)
it's not a poor tax specifically, it's a tax for people for don't know math as someone once said.
Marilyn Newman (1 month ago)
I played 3 times, won 5 bucks.
Last week tonight was canceled because John Oliver quit because it was him who won the lottery
A Acord (1 month ago)
Alabama is in the liquor business. In Florence al 38464 they built a side walk to the abc store from the projects. http://alabcboard.gov/
Phillip Sardinha (1 month ago)
Its just a way to tax the people that wont lead to another Boston Tea Party...if only King George knew about lotteries...
B. Chan (1 month ago)
Here in Vegas, literally every convenience store has slot machines. Most grocery stores as well
Gisi (1 month ago)
I’m from South America, my mom and his entire family are addicted to gambling. We lost too much and suffered from that addiction. And they don’t recognize that is a problem :( . I never gamble and I’ll never do it. I saw how destructive is on a poor family and how hard is for those who can’t do anything to fix it.
alexanderthekev (1 month ago)
The lottery is a stupid tax, stupider you are the more you pay
irllcd13 (1 month ago)
Is anyone else not particularly impressed by the lottery raising $5 billion for education over 20 years, especially in a populace state like New York?
ben P. (1 month ago)
I'm from georgia and both me and my college roommate have free tuition from the state lottery it's called the Zell Miller scholarship. People choose to play the lottery it's their choice and it actually benefits people like me
who8myfish (1 month ago)
First rule of gambling: House never loses Second rule of gambling: House always wins
Archduke (1 month ago)
Torterra (1 month ago)
If I’m EVER going to spend money on lottery tickets, that number isn’t getting any higher than say $20 to $30, maybe not even. When you spend over fucking $2,000, you might as well light up the oil drum because it’s gonna be pretty useful going forward.
imaloony8 (1 month ago)
I work at a casino. I know how this works. I'm actually shocked by the number of my fellow dealers who do gamble. Like... seriously, you see how this typically goes man.
Here in Brazil it's even worse: they don't even need to promote any good cause. People buy lottery as it is.
Tony Campbell (1 month ago)
All those folks who lost their retirement pensions back during the Main Street marches vs. Walstreet calposue. Someone always getting caught bad insider trading and money laundering affiliated with Wall Street so tell me again how great the Stock market is lol
MiserableOldFart (1 month ago)
Lotteries exploit the working poor to keep taxes down on the rich. It's funny, though, that the states are bigger crooks than the Mafia their lotteries were supposed to replace..
Steve Cooper (2 months ago)
thank you for being a kid who is being cheated by DeVos (yup spelled like that)
Paul TheSkeptic (2 months ago)
Bad for winners? I'd like to put that to the test.
RpiesSPIES (2 months ago)
Grey Goose is gross.
Glenn Goryl (2 months ago)
Sure there's a better reason. Winning.
Alexander Stone (2 months ago)
thats was my being built school spring creek. not in it anymore
Hello World (2 months ago)
"I'm strapping a penguin to my chest and I'm taking to the skies; fuck you evolution! I DECIDE WHO FLIES!" -John Oliver
Christopher Barrows (2 months ago)
It would be really great if they just made it lots easier for many people to win much smaller, far more often...right?
roku omg omg (2 months ago)
What's all this "we" shit he's been an American for like four days?
Rezareth (2 months ago)
You might want to have a look at the date on which the previous videos were uploaded (or google him) before making such ridiculous claims.^^
Stars Stripes (2 months ago)
FROM 2:25-2:40 IS THE FUNNIEST SHIT .... & what Oliver does after lmfao
OmnissiahZelos (2 months ago)
Uh she choose to play the game *rolls eyes* no sympathy, stay away from the machines.
Déa Lepage (2 months ago)
Ha at the end when he’s saying it’d be so ridiculous if the state owned liquor store and their revenue would fun schools... that’s literally how it works where I live, Quebec. Every liquor store is government owned and the revenue goes to keeping them running and the province. So yeah, in Quebec, drinks are responsible for our free health care and good cheap school systems 😂
Ron C (2 months ago)
John Oliver is such a queer. This guy paid $87,000 for Russell Crowe’s jock strap. Dude your gay. I mean total flamer. I bet he sniffs it every night, while jerking it.
K.A. GORDON (2 months ago)
If I won the lottery big I would offer free spay and neutering for all animals in all countries and maybe get a used prius. Being a buddhist, monetary gain should be used to better life not show what a selfish glutton one is. Currently I dont play the lottery and I have only gone to the casino once and won 24 dollars. Self-control cannot be understated.
Heinz Guderian (2 months ago)
If someone thinks that the lottery is good because it creates money for certain causes, then we should legalize all drugs and tax them.
Toby Floof (2 months ago)
How about the people getting ssi and using that money to buy lottery tickets and complaining that they are homeless? And other people who actually need ssi and or ssd don't get it.
The charity strategy is basically the same as the scratch cards on Ryan Air. If you're going down to the standards of Ryan Air; Stop it.
Rycore XIII (2 months ago)
*E V E R Y B O D Y S A W I N N E R*
Jonny-5 (2 months ago)
The statistic "lower income families spend a higher percentage of their income on the lottery" is absolutely meaningless. If two people buy a $1 lottery ticket, one of whom makes $10,000 a year and the other making $100,000 a year, obviously that $1 is a higher percentage of the poorer person's income. It's a misleading statistic that says absolutely nothing.
Jeronimo Tamayo Lopera (2 months ago)
World Citizen (2 months ago)
That means Jewish fucking Americans more than ever before. Good look Americans
Jason Mitchell (1 month ago)
World Citizen jews...
Alexander Wellin (3 months ago)
Uhh, this is awkward... That last part about state-controlled liquor and advertising the good that comes from the revenue.... Yeah... North Carolina does that too.
Nx Doyle (3 months ago)
There are two major differences between my experience of the lottery systems in Australia and the United States. 1) The ads for the lottery are all about the win, with no soft lens 'values based' ads touting the amount of money going towards education. It's not that revenue from what governments in Aus used to call 'racing and betting' is not used for public services. It's because there's no need to say so. OECD nations already allocate money from the public coffers to health, education and infrastructure. Only in America does the poverty tax aka the lottery have to let you know that. Because it ain't coming from many other places. 2) Lottery winnings are smaller in Aus. It's only 25 million people strong. But what you win, you keep. No tax.
Nx Doyle (3 months ago)
Lotteries are most popular in those places where people are overworked, underpaid and the general happiness indicators are poor. That makes America the perfect candidate. The so-called "greatest nation on Earth" is only greatest in its own head, which, incidentally, you're far more likely to get a bullet in if you live in America.
Ali Supreme (3 months ago)
No, he made that penguin dream about flying.
jay hathaway (3 months ago)
the best thing about this show is the applause. im not truly alone
jay hathaway (3 months ago)
ill throw my hat in da ring, i once drove from massachusetts (the best state) to seattle, along the way my car broke down and when i pulled off the freeway and pushed my car for a mile i ended up at a diner that had a huge sign FREE BEER i went in asked they said as long as u play slots we provide free beer, within ten minutes i won 600 dollars, i used it to fix my car and spent the rest on slots, left town broker than i arrived
jay hathaway (3 months ago)
thanks a lot dicks. now i want a mazda with a moon roof 8:42
jay hathaway (3 months ago)
yeah its a 3 year old video, but as usual oliver and crew make a great point, why not spread the winnings out to people who spend all their money on tickets, make more medium range life changing jackpots, instead of 5 10 billion dollar prizes. and stop giving it to charities and whatever else they brag about. actually try acytually spreading the wealth
muhu_88 (3 months ago)
I am starting to think the US the the most corrupt of the first world countries.
whatwhen999 (3 months ago)
students aren’t seeing that $68B. i went to my district’s headquarters as of late and they have reclining chairs and FOOT RESTS. none of the tables in my humanities class are the same, but yeah the people that are getting paid 10 times more than the teachers can have foot rests.
lawrence legend (3 months ago)
what's that sucking noise at 3:35, kinda weird
RoofToilet1107 (3 months ago)
@2:15 Don't forget Pennsylvania's lottery. Our state lotto's slogan is "Benefits older Pennsylvanians every day"
Josh Schultz (3 months ago)
As a philosophy major I loved the reference there haha
S3AN TH3 BOSS (3 months ago)
I love how when he said video games, he puts a picture of a black Xbox 360 on the screen.
Kail Habib (3 months ago)
I bet the ppl who disliked this video r ppl who constantly go broke playing the lottery. Every morning b4 work we stop at a gas station for food and drinks and every morning, the same woman comes in for over and hour & goes back & forth from her car to the store counter to buy more & more lottery tickets. Socially acceptable addiction.
b dog (3 months ago)
I live in Oregon, and don't even notice those machines - but, then again, I'm not a sucker.
Dank Memeatron (3 months ago)
I live in South Carolina. North Carolina's shadow. One of the 50% of states
Mentagasm (3 months ago)
I live in Illinois. Our lottery a nice chunk used to go to the schools Not anymore.
Brekner Catalin (3 months ago)
The real question is: why do so many people think that playing the lottery is their best chance at making money? As a normal person, i can't see how anyone who understands the odds would ever play the lottery. If you wanna win at least try sports bets or something , the odds are much better....
People are dumb. They Play what they are used to. Here in Europe we have the national loteries and the Europe wide Euro Jackpot. The Euro-Jackpot has usually a higher pay out, and even better the odds are alot better than the state lottery. Still people who are used to playing the state lottery keep on playing it, even if the Jackpot in the Euro-Jackpot is at 90 million while the state lottery at 1 million. People are slaves of habit. Even 80+ year old people keep on playing lottery still hoping to win before they die, wasting a fortune throughout their life. But even with better odds, playing any sort of gambling is super dumb.
Anne Kautzi (3 months ago)
Honestly in Oregon it's so horrible. They are in every bar and Chinese restaurant it's hard to escape them.
UNICORN lover lol (3 months ago)
When ur at school and u got 10 buck "when our coworker comes 8n and tells everyone to f then self's "
andrei i (3 months ago)
blaming the evil state for installing evil slot machines is like blaming evil spoons for getting fat
juan jansen van Rensburg (3 months ago)
Lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math
Christian Cowandy (3 months ago)
Leave your wife for Amber without a prenup, kinda like Johnny Depp and Amber Heard 🤔🤔
Aristotle Quintana (3 months ago)
Lol I live in Illinois
11S53 LIAW ZHONG-WEI (3 months ago)
The lottery that matters most is the sperm and egg lottery.
Christopher Geschke (3 months 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 (3 months ago)
Why do able, independent, free thinking Americans need protection from $1 scratch offs? Can't we decide what to spend our money on without some nanny telling us no? I thought it was right wing evengelicals that moralized about shit like this. What ever happened to personal responsibility? SMH 🙄
Collex (4 months ago)
Seems to me the problem is not that States run gambling, is that they run it badly. I live in Quebec, Canada. All gambling is state-run. Lottery? State-run. Casinos? Owned by the province. Video-poker machine? Profits split between the bar owner and the province. Heck, if you want to have a raffle, if the cash value of the prize is over a certain amount (I think 1000$ 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.
stargasm420 (4 months ago)
I’m going to start playing the lottery
sTmPanda (4 months 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 (4 months ago)
Crazy to find an episode not littered with trump
Crazy, this video was uploaded in 2014.
Selvatore bonucci (4 months 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.
If only. The average IQ would make a big jump up.
Aneesah GIlbert (4 months 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 (4 months ago)
lottery play with the hope of the poor we shoulb be ashamed that ur gouvernment use it again us to get money....
It's what the people want. That's why they voted for a guy like Trump. That's why they don't want social justice and equality. That's why they don't want rich people to be taxed. The American dream is to win the lottery and eat all of it while looking down on all those losers whom you've left behind. The lottery is a perfect analogy to the system. Lots of poor people pay in, so that one person can become super rich.
Ahmad Awwadeh (4 months 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 👽 🧕🧔👱‍♂️👱‍♀️🤵👳‍♂️💂‍♂️
h h (4 months 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.

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