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The Washington Post, soon to be the property of founder Jeff Bezos (you'd think if anyone knew that no one reads newspapers anymore, it'd be Bezos), reports that people are more more inclined to buy lottery tickets at stores that have previously sold winning tickets.

Stop and think about that for a minute. The people who are willing to give someone their money in the hopes of collecting something for nothing think that they will have better odds playing at a place where someone else already won even though the concept is easily disproven by empirical data. Yeah, that sounds about right.

It seems that we should be able to exploit this information. American hate paying income taxes; recent polls indicate that at least half of all Americans think their taxes are too high. But lottery jackpots frequently approach $100 million, 10 times the lifetime earnings of the average American. Obviously, many of these same malcontents who have a problem paying the government have no problem throwing away their earnings on empty dreams. (The odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot is about 1 in 175 million. Being struck by lighting is 1 in 500 thousand.)

Maybe the IRS, which is desperate to recover its good name (ha!) after treating Tea Partiers like Wesley Snipes for the past few years, should consider just telling the people that if they give the government some of their money, they might just get a multi-million dollar tax return next year. The winner will be so pleased to win, he probably won't even care that he'll have to pay half his winnings back to the government.

The best part of this plan is that once there is a winner, everyone else will willingly come back year after year to keep giving the IRS more and more of their money. You're welcome, IRS.

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To be continued...


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