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Lottery Sales Slogan

May 24, 2004

I live in the State of Washington which like many states runs a lottery. For just one dollar you have a chance to win at least 1 million dollars (odds of winning are 1: 6,991,908 --odds of being struck by lightning: 1:700,000). Imagine that, a million dollars!

Well money alone is not enough to spur consumers into paying what amounts to a special idiot tax, so the Washington State Lottery Commission has to come up with good advertising slogans to convince you to play. Little slogans like, "some lucky dog is going to win it" or something as witty.

I discovered this new slogan when I was waiting in line at the grocery store today. The line really slowed down when the guy in front of me tried to get a coupon discount on a bag of pretzels. He lost the coupon, but he still wanted the coupon price. I have learned long ago that you cannot just hand this kind of dumbass 20 cents and expect the line to keep moving. Coupon clippers take offense to this for some reason and yammer on about the principal or some boring shit like that.

Since this was the only open line and I was trying to be tolerant, I distracted myself by studying the little automated LCD display at the register set up by the State of Washington to entice problem gamblers and those that cannot count into buying a lottery ticket. The machine was displaying what I feel is the funniest reason I have seen to buy a lottery ticket.

They're recyclable.

That was the slogan.

That was it. No Burma Shave, no hope inspiring phrase like, "What would you do with a million dollars?" just a statement that the tickets can be recycled.

Because that was the one thing holding me back from buying a ticket was the fact that the tickets are contributing to our growing landfills. I was having nightmares of huge mountains of losing lottery tickets growing in the wilderness. The image of a second, dirtier mountain like Rainier ever expanding filled with tattered remnants of people's abandoned hopes purchased at one dollar a dream. But no, I don't have to worry because the tickets can be recycled.

Now there is no reason to hold back your dreams or your intentional tax dollars. You could be a millionaire and you can help the state reduce the amount of money it allocates to education because we can put that on the backs of gamblers, just like we do with timber sales.

Next time you are in Washington, feel free to buy a ticket. Now the only reason not to buy one has been removed. Party it up.

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