To the editor:
The recent front-page Messenger article, "Mega Millions jackpot ..." appears to endorse, if not promote, lottery sales at "local retailers chains." A few retailers may gain, but our community as a whole loses. These dollars could stimulate our economy when used in our local businesses. Instead, they leave and disappear as into thin air.
We see the statistics - the probability of winning is infinitesimally small - essentially zero. A better investment would be gifts to charity as these generate reductions in our federal and state income taxes when we itemize deductions. And our charities reduce our dependence on tax-funded programs. Contributions to established community foundations can generate partial reductions in our Iowa income taxes.
"Investing" in lottery tickets amounts to giving it away with no return. It has been called a "fool's tax." Let somebody else be the fool.