Last Week Tonight looks at the lucrative business.
Television commercials promise that the perks of buying a lottery ticket—the slight, glimmering hope of a win; the charity involved in funding public education—outweigh the risks. And the message is effective: In 2013, state lotteries were such a lucrative business that, according to Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, "Americans basically spent more on the lottery than they spent on America." But Oliver finds that an industry raking in billions of dollars every year isn't quite as benevolent as it seems.
Plus: A Christmas tree arrives in Rockefeller Plaza and reflects a sign of the times.