Last updated: August 28. 2014 12:39PM - 377 Views

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In search of a “big win,” residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania paid more on average to play scratch-off and other lottery games last year than their peers elsewhere in the state – which says something about us.

PA Lottery figures for the fiscal year just ended show the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton region accounted for $227 million in sales, the equivalent of $423 per person.

A school superintendent might look at that figure and wonder how any of us dare to bellyache about paying nominal increases in school property taxes.

An Atlantic City casino owner might shed a tear, bemoaning the absence of those dollars at the boardwalk.

An advocate for the Keystone State’s senior citizens might see us as fanatical supporters of “older Pennsylvanians.”

A Lottery official could reasonably claim we’re an ideal market, constantly attuned to game promotions and announcements of five- and six-figure payouts.

A mathematician would conclude we’re either daft or in dire need of a refresher course on probability.

A psychologist might say we’re an optimistic people, ever hopeful that riches are as close as the nearest convenience store.

A therapist might say we’re desperate.

P.T. Barnum, the 19th century showman/shyster, probably would come closest to the truth: There’s one born every minute.

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