Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Lottery losers:

Given the $200 million winner in Powerball and the news today that a woman in Ankeny won $21,000 on a scratch-off ticket, I'm feeling the need to republish this exchange of letters between Ed Fallon and Ed Stanek of the Iowa Lottery:

May 12, 1998:

To: The Honorable Ed Fallon

Over the years I have had the particular enjoyment of seeing lottery winners from across our state. Although jackpot winners only come occasionally, we do have $100,000 winners on a regular basis.

I'd like to introduce the latest $100,000 winner from your district. (name withheld) from Des Moines won $100,000 in the Powerball game on May 5, 1998. We, of course, sent him our best wishes along with a check. I thought you might want to offer your best wishes also.

We will continue to send you the names of winners in your district as they occur. Best of luck to you, too.

Edward J. Stanek,
Commissioner, Iowa Lottery

I responded with this letter:

May 21, 1998

To: Edward J. Stanek

Over the years I have had the particular distress of seeing lottery losers from across our state. Although both jackpot and $100,000 winners only come occasionally, we do have losers on a regular basis.

If you have it, I'd appreciate a list of all my constituents who play the lottery and lose. I would like to offer them my condolences. I will also suggest they find a better use for their money, and the operative slogan they shold bear in mind is, "If you don't play, you can't lose."

You may continue to send me the names of the rare lottery winners in my district, if you like, though I must inform you that I have no intention of congratulating them. Winning the lottery is, as I believe your letter implies, simply a matter of luck.

I frequently congratulate people on a hard-earned accomplishment or a task well done. Congratulating someone on being lucky enough to win the lottery is like congratulating the lone survivor of a plane crash. Thank you.

Ed Fallon
state representative



Joe said...

Tremendous letter. His party should nominate him for governor! Oh, wait...

noneed4thneed said...

That is great and I agree with Joe.

cr said...

Ever see the Dilbert cartoon with this exchange?

Dogbert: I'm selling "value-added lottery" tickets. They're half price, but the chance of winning is only 1 in ten million less.

Man: I'll take one...Hey, wait! This is yesterday's ticket.

Dogbert: And your point is?