Lottery Fever Hits Italy

Catholic Church leaders in Italy are chagrined that a nearly $200 million lottery takes place Thursday. Church leaders say the drawing encourages greed, false hope and an idolatrous worship of money. Although entrants have about a one in 600 million chance of winning, there's no dearth of Italian municipalities entering.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

Our last word in business is about spiritual opposition to another form of easy money. The word is lotto fever. Millions of Italians have been buying tickets for a big national lottery. It has a jackpot of nearly $190 million. But Catholic Church leaders have condemned the lottery, saying it encourages greed and false hope for the poor. The odds of winning are one in six hundred million. That didn't stop one town mayor from drawing on the salaries of council members to buy a ticket. He says he has a better chance of winning than getting the government to pony up funds it owes his town.

That's the business news from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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