Sunday, March 26, 2006

Letting the Poor Pay

Poor people are twice as likely as wealthy people in North Carolina to live near one of the state's new 5,000 lottery retailers, Jim Morrill and Adam Bell report in today's Charlotte Observer. In "Lottery Vendors Bunched in Lower-Income Locations," Bell and Morrill used mapping software to determine that some upscale neighborhoods and towns will have only one lottery vendor while one low-income neighborhood will hold as many as 28. They also examine how low-income people in neighboring South Carolina spend nearly three times as much on the lottery as do people who make more than $50,000 a year. I like how Morrill and Bell go beyond the news of the state's new lottery and use computer-assisted reporting to see how it is likely to affect real people.


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