Lottery and education

This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In "Why not a Utah lottery?" (Opinion, Dec. 8), Bruce Willden showed lack of understanding of lotteries and education funding.

In practice, lotteries do not give additional funding to education; they just give legislators an easy way to divert tax money to other projects that used to go to education (see "Mega Millions: Do lotteries really benefit public schools?" The Washington Post, March 30).

California is a prime example of a state that has a lottery to fund education but still has to scrape to find adequate money for education. Even with a lottery, there has been no real "increase" in education funding. It has just made it easier to take other money from public education. This has also been shown in Virginia, Texas, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Mike Mitchell

Salt Lake City