For a Dollar and a Dream State Lotteries in Modern America

, by
For a Dollar and a Dream State Lotteries in Modern America by Cohen, Jonathan D., 9780197604885
Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.
  • ISBN: 9780197604885 | 0197604889
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 9/1/2022

  • Rent


    *This item is part of an exclusive publisher rental program and requires an additional convenience fee. This fee will be reflected in the shopping cart.
  • Buy New

    Usually Ships in 3-5 Business Days

  • eBook

    eTextBook from VitalSource Icon

    Available Instantly

    Online: 180 Days

    Downloadable: 180 Days


This first comprehensive history of America's lottery obsession explores the spread of state lotteries and how players and policymakers alike got hooked on wishful dreams of an elusive jackpot.

Every week, one in eight Americans place a bet on the dream of a life-changing lottery jackpot. Americans spend more on lottery tickets annually than on video streaming services, concert tickets, books, and movie tickets combined.

The story of lotteries in the United States may seem straightforward: tickets are bought predominately by poor people driven by the wishful belief that they will overcome infinitesimal odds and secure lives of luxury. The reality is more complicated. For a Dollar and a Dream shows how, in an era of surging inequality and stagnant upward mobility, millions of Americans turned to the lottery as their only chance at achieving the American Dream. Gamblers were not the only ones who bet on betting. As voters revolted against higher taxes in the late twentieth century, states saw legalized gambling as a panacea, a way of generating a new source of revenue without cutting public services or raising taxes. Even as evidence emerged that lotteries only provided a small percentage of state revenue, and even as data mounted about their appeal to the poor, states kept passing them and kept adding new games, desperate for their longshot gamble to pay off. Alongside stories of lottery winners and
losers, Jonathan Cohen shows how gamblers have used prayer to help them win a jackpot, how states tried to pay for schools with scratch-off tickets, and how lottery advertising has targeted lower income and nonwhite communities.

For a Dollar and a Dream charts the untold history of the nation's lottery system, revealing how players and policymakers alike got hooked on hopes for a gambling windfall.
Loading Icon

Please wait while the item is added to your bag...
Continue Shopping Button
Checkout Button
Loading Icon
Continue Shopping Button