Canadian man wins $14 million in lottery and he's not surprised

Semi-retired Toronto welder Jorma Hogbacka won $14.8 million ($12.24 million in US Dollars) playing the Lottery, and he says he isn't surprised.

"Four years ago, (a psychic) sent me a letter that said 'You'll be rich beyond your wildest dream'," he said. "It feels like another day, except I have a big cheque."

He says that he plans to travel, upgrade his car and give $30,000 each to five ladies who used to work at a Tim Horton's he frequented. (Because they always got his coffee order right). How sweet!

Stories like these are heartwarming in a way but before you feel too fuzzy about it, remember this: Hogbacka's winnings come at the expense of thousands of other Lottery players, many of whom can ill-afford the money they spend on tickets. There is a ton of research showing that the revenue generated by the Lottery tends to come from society's most vulnerable and disenfranchised groups. When the University of Georgia

investigated that state's lottery, here's what they found:

  • Blacks are three times more likely than non-blacks to be active lottery players.
  • Males are almost four times as likely as females to be active lottery players.
  • An individual without a high school degree or GED is more than four times as likely to be an active lottery player as an individual who has an education above the high school level.
  • A high school graduate is two and a half times more likely than someone who has an education above the high school level to be an active lottery player.
  • According to the model, less educated black males are more than 30 times more likely like than educated non-black females to play the lottery.

And before he gets too cocky about his windfall, he might do well to read about some of the jackpot winners who ended up broke within a few years.

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