Walking around Arizona handing out tickets that ask “Do you want to be a millionaire?,” Osterloh is pushing a voter-incentive program that would treat every voter’s ballot as a kind of lottery ticket. After each election, one voter/ticket holder would win $1 million. Osterloh also proposes 1,700 additional prizes of $1,000 each.
Unclaimed prizes from the state’s real lottery would fund the program.
Although state voters turned down his lottery idea in November, Osterloh scoffs at the notion that it’s illegal or undemocratic.
“Getting all those people to vote will degrade democracy?” he snorts. “Isn’t that the definition of democracy?”
Osterloh figures that his proposition failed in November because his target audience didn’t turn out to vote. If only they’d had an incentive ….
—Adapted from “The 6th Annual Year in Ideas,” Rebecca Skloot, The New York Times Magazine.