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.