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Powerball and the American Culture of Inequality

On September 12, 1964, Paul Cordone of Gloversville, New York won the biggest lottery jackpot in American history. The previous year, New Hampshire became the first state to legalize a state-operated lottery, selecting winners through a complicated system that involved two separate raffles and a horse race to ensure the results weren’t rigged. Like thousands of New Yorkers, Cordone had crossed state lines for a chance to buy a lottery ticket, and he returned  to New Hampshire in September to watch the results firsthand. After his designated horse came through, Cordone became one of six winners of the first legal lottery in the post-World War II period. His reward? $100,000. …

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