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John Oliver: Americans foolishly ‘spend more on the lottery than they do on America’

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On the final episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight for the year, host John Oliver took a look at state lotteries and how they disproportionately take money from the poor by selling hope while failing to deliver on the promise of a better life or improved funding of state programs.

Noting that 44 states now conduct state lotteries, Oliver pointed out that the states spend half of a billion dollars promoting them every year because they are “a massive money maker.”

Oliver pointed out that in 2013 state-run gambling operations took in over $68 billion in revenue, the bulk of which comes from lower income households.

“$68 billion. That’s more than Americans spent last year on movie tickets, music, porn, the NFL, Major League baseball, and video games combined,” he explained. “Which basically mean Americans spent more on the lottery than they spent on America.”

Oliver noted that the odds of winning the lottery are one in 176 million, with one man explaining that the chances of winning the Mega Millions lottery is “akin to be hit by lightning at the same time you’re being eaten by a shark.”

“That is both an evocative image and an amazing pitch for a movie” Oliver added.

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Describing the pitfalls that accompany winning the lottery, from winners blowing through the money to a man hiring a hitman to kill his brother over a $16 million payout, Oliver compared it to marrying Tom Cruise.

“It seems winning the lottery can be like marrying Tom Cruise,” he explained. “Sure, it seems amazing in your mind. You might even dream about it happening one day. But if it actually does, five years later the magic will be over, you’ll be estranged from your family, and you will have seen things you can never un-see.”

Watch the video below from Last Week Tonight:

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Orange County Republican under fire after 3 women come forward with #MeToo allegations of sexual misconduct

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Republicans in Orange County are in chaos after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced at a GOP endorsement meeting.

"As Orange County Republicans considered a 2020 endorsement last week for Assemblyman Bill Brough, R-Dana Point, one local official made a surprising public declaration," the Sacramento Bee reported Monday. "County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett accused Brough of making unwanted sexual advances during their time together on the Dana Point City Council."

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New York Times admits they ‘downplayed’ the rape allegation against Trump

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On Monday, The New York Times issued a mea culpa for the nature of their coverage of the allegation by advice columnist E. Jean Carroll that President Donald Trump raped her in a department store in the 1990s.

"After an article last week reported the advice columnist E. Jean Carroll's rape allegations against President Trump, some readers accused The Times of downplaying the story," wrote staff editor Laura Takenaga. "Many have written to ask us why we didn't give the allegations more attention on our website and in print ... Some questioned whether the lack of prominence showed too much deference to the president's denials, or whether it even suggested misogyny or an unwillingness to believe a victim's account."

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LGBTQ pride ‘forces’ people to accept ‘a perverted and non-biblical view of sexuality’: West Virginia Republican

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West Virginia state Sen. Mike Azinger penned an angry op-ed for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, scorning the idea of LGBTQ acceptance and warning that it is a massive plot to indoctrinate people against Christian values.

"Tolerance, in the face of the violation of the commandments of God, is no virtue at all," said Azinger, a manager of a contracting firm with a master's degree in pastoral theology. He ripped into the local newspaper for covering an LGBTQ pride event the previous Saturday, thundering that, "Sexual deviancy is going mainstream."

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