Our View: Calculating the cost of lawsuit lending

By The SE Texas Record | Apr 28, 2014

“The Texas Lottery has generated well over $21 billion for the state of Texas since the first ticket was sold in 1992,” boasts the official lottery website at txlottery.org. Lottery players, the site says, have won “more than $43 billion ($43,267,157,341) in prizes.”

Power Ball, Mega Millions, Lotto Texas, Texas Two Step, All or Nothing, Pick 3, Daily 4, Cash Five, Scratch-Offs – they’ve all contributed to this amazing success story. 

Of course, that’s more than $60 billion that might have been put to better use (more than $60 billion that unlucky Lottery players have lost), but let’s not bog down on details.

Remember, some portion of the proceeds goes to public education. It’s all about the kids, supposedly. We’re promoting gambling – make that “gaming” – for the benefit of our children. If nothing else, they’ll learn where our priorities lie.

The wonder is, we don’t do more to promote the Lottery. There must be millions of Texans not currently playing who would do so if they had the means. Why not encourage them to borrow the money they need to pick numbers and buy tickets and scratch-off cards? It’s just like investing – only with much higher returns, potentially.

We already have a model to follow: it’s lawsuit lending. With lawsuit loans, people who think they have big winner lawsuits can borrow money against the settlements being sought and just pay back the loans when they hit the jackpot.

Buried in the fine print of those loan contracts are terms especially beneficial to the lenders, so they’ll feel comfortable advancing funds for speculative ventures.

Just because their clients want to gamble doesn’t mean the lenders should take risks, too. Who ends up with most of the jackpot has nothing to do with luck.

So, contact your state legislators and tell them you’d like to play the Lottery, but you just can’t afford it. Emphasize that you’re willing to borrow money at any terms to get in on the action. Ask them how they can support lawsuit lending but not lottery lending.
And, please, “Play responsibly.”

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