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The term “adult redemption game” may sound evocative, perhaps even near-poetic—until you realize the words are vending-industry jargon for a videogame that allows high-scorers to win merchandise vouchers or lottery tickets while perched on a stool in the back of a truck stop or convenience store.
Lottery tickets are not a big line item in our household budget. We have a tradition of buying scratch-and-win tickets for everyone who joins us at Christmas Eve dinner. No one remembers quite how this ritual started, but it seems to have phased in around the time we were phasing out Santa. Perhaps we replaced dreams of sugar plums with fantasies of hitting the jackpot. In any case, this holiday custom sets us back about $25. And of course, whenever there’s a huge Powerball prize at stake, I fork over five or ten bucks for the pool at work, unable resist the enthusiasm of our office manager, Mary Lyon, who talks about her plans to buy a villa in Tuscany. So, on average, I chip in thirty or forty dollars a year to the Georgia Lottery revenue stream.