How a Powerball win would change the state of New Jersey
On Saturday night, the Powerball jackpot stood at $325 million. Whether you got yours through the New Jersey lottery or in another state it would have made a remarkable Easter present.
No one hit. No one in the whole country, not for all of it. So it’s rolled over again for Monday’s drawing to $348 million.
It’s not the biggest jackpot in U.S. history. Not even close. It would rank as the 23rd biggest Powerball and 41st biggest lottery jackpot overall.
Yet $348 million, which is $206 million for the popular cash option, would be transformative for any of us. Well, not for Gov. Phil Murphy, but almost any of us.
And I thought about how hard life is in New Jersey. So expensive it’s even daunting for a millionaire. The nation’s highest property taxes with the average being $9,284 last year leaves you feeling defeated. By some measures, we are the sixth most expensive state to live in. We have the seventh-highest auto insurance. We have the sixth-highest housing cost (before we even get to that property tax issue).
It’s just damn hard to live here. Yes, even for a millionaire.
But if you timesed that million by 348? What a game changer. Rarely do I hear people talk about wanting to leave New Jersey because of the culture or the people of the food or the proximity to the shore and major cities.
It’s the government. It’s the way business is treated here. It’s the utter disregard for average people struggling year after year to pay their property tax bill. It’s the taxes. And it’s knowing nothing real is being done about it.
Remember Gov. Phil Murphy’s classic shrugging off of the problem when he said if tax rates are your issue we’re probably not your state?
The odds of winning Powerball are far-flung. Over 292 million to 1. Yet just imagine how different New Jersey would look the next morning.
You could have this home.
Drink mimosas in this kitchen
Chill in this living room
And have this view
You would quickly lose the stress of daily survival. You would rediscover your passion for the state’s offerings. You wouldn’t have that knot in your stomach when an unfamiliar number popped up on your phone worrying if it was a collection agency.
You’d probably know intellectually something still needed to be done about property taxes but it wouldn’t feel like you were treading water waiting to drown. You’d know people were hurting, but eventually you’d grow a mental distance to the problems of ordinary people.
Yes, New Jersey would look a whole lot different. In other words, you’d probably end up seeing it the way Phil Murphy does.
Then you wouldn’t have my vote either.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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