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The value of a two-newspaper city, part umpteenth

Yesterday, Massachusetts' Lottery Commission held a stunt to garner some good publicity and put a crimp in littering. In a program they called "Instant Replay," they invited people to bring losing scratch tickets at Earthfest in Boston. For every 25 losing tickets turned in, people could get a new $1.00 scratch ticket.

The event was covered rather differently in Boston's two papers.

The Globe, ever the friend of big government and Democratic initiatives, touted it as a roaring success. It was so successful, they say, that the organizers had to briefly close down, and at the end had to encourage people to come to the next event in two weeks.

The Boston Herald, however, no friend to big government, had a slightly different take. They found one guy who had hauled down 60,000 losing tickets, only to be turned away.

(Note: some folks will want to point out that Massachusetts has a Republican governor, and has had Republican governors for almost 20 years. A far more important statistic is that well over 80% of state legislators are Democrats, meaning that any actions by the governor can be overridden with ease.)

I have to side with the Herald on this one: the lottery commission was simply not prepared for this plan of theirs. A few sensible precautions -- such as limiting the number of tickets someone could turn in at once -- would have gone a long way towards making the situation more manageable.

But as far as the Globe is concerned, it's the thought that counts. The commission WANTED to do something about littering, so that's all that matters. Whether or not it would be effective, or if it was well planned and thought out, don't count.

Comments (6)

Got a better idea?... (Below threshold)

Got a better idea?

Well, for starters, yogimus... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Well, for starters, yogimus, they could have put a limit on how many tickets each individual could redeem. You know, like I mentioned in the penultimate paragraph.


JT, I got a better idea. <... (Below threshold)

JT, I got a better idea.

How about simply enforcing the existing littering laws? I am sure you could find a bunch of illegal aliens disadvantaged Lawrence, Massachusetts-Spanish-speaking-residents who for less than minimum wage would be happy to be the meters maids of litter enforcement (as long as they would receive amnesty for littering themselves).

DINGDINGDING!Epado... (Below threshold)


Epador got my point. Why oh WHY are we paying people to throw away garbage responsibly? If we ARE paying folks, how bout we pay for a cleanup crew instead? Hell, that way at elast we pay folks to WORK.

Even better, get the people... (Below threshold)

Even better, get the people on welfare to do it for those " jobs no one else wants to do". Oh never mind, they are too busy collecting their checks to be bothered.

Hmmmm, if I were the guy wh... (Below threshold)

Hmmmm, if I were the guy who hauled down the 60,000 tickets, I would sue the Lottery Commission for breach of contract. They put an offer out there, he accepted the offer when he tendered the tickets. They owe him the money.

This is the same principle that was applied decades ago when (I believe it was) Ernie Boch advertised on television that he was selling a particular car for "only $10,000 bananas." Some guy showed up at the dealership with 10,000 bananas and was turned away. He won his case.

That is a true story. Here is another similar story in Snopes that refers to it.






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