City Lottery To Offer No Prizes
Local News - Newsmakers
Written by Millbank Daily-Weekly   
Sunday, 12 February 2012 21:15

Lottery fever has struck Millbank with its annual citywide drawing to be held in Ottoman Park on March 17.  City officials estimate that this year's event will attract the most participants in its 27-year history.

"A lot of money raised by the lottery would go to worthy causes," said City Councilman and local business owner Gary Shanks, "if money were involved. However, it's not. We're just doing this for fun."

"Besides," said Mr. Shanks, "prizes just lead to hard feelings. How would you like it if your neighbor won the lottery while you didn't?  All the sudden he's riding around on a brand new lawnmower and you can't get your junky old one to work. This is a much better solution."

Tickets for previous year lotteries have cost one dollar each, and prizes have been cash and cash-equivalents. However, the City Council made its decision after it was anonymously advised in January that handing out such awards may violate the city charter. The City Budget Office estimates that the change to a free lottery with no prizes will generate approximately zero dollars in revenue.

While the City is satisfied with its decision to award no prizes, local businesses have expressed disappointment. In previous years, many used the lottery as an opportunity to promote their products. For Phil Phletcher, owner of Phil's Palace of Taxidermy, the lottery was a key part of his publicity campaign. "I have a warehouse full of dead things people never pick up. The lottery was a great way to clear it out. Last year I donated the back half of a moose whose front half we'd lost. Two years ago, we contributed seventeen ducks that we couldn't find the right-sized glass eyes for. You know, people might not want to pay for a blank-faced duck. For free, they love them."

Citizens seem to agree with the City. Lou Polst of Chaise Street told the Millbank Daily, "I think the no-prize lottery is a great way to boost participation. Last year I bought two tickets. This year, since they are free, I might get three."

Mary Kostler of 9th Avenue said, "I will definitely enter this year. Knowing I won't win another blind, dead duck is a great incentive."

"It's about fun," explained Mr. Shanks. "People don't enter lotteries for the money and prizes. They enter so when they win they can hold their head up high and say, 'I did a good thing. I did my best. I am better than other people. We also believe we can have as many winning tickets as we have tickets given out. Maybe one fewer."

Lottery tickets are available at no charge at the Koffee Klatsch, Phil's Palace of Taxidermy, Garth's Realm of the Undead, Adolf's Irish Pub, Mr. Sofa Guy's Sofa Kingdom Warehouse Emporium Factory Showroom, the Out of Bounds and Gary's Pet Castle.

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Last Updated on Monday, 13 February 2012 07:41

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