The photo above was taken from a moving bicycle and with an awkwardly held camera, thus the blurriness. It’s a woman crossing her fingers, scratching for hope, and wishing for a small financial windfall, so long as the symbols match up into an appropriate pattern. I wish I could say this was something due to “La Crisis” but this is a pretty regular scene in communities of the working poor. Yes, the lottery is a waste of money and a tax on the poor, but it still represents one of the few imaginary options out of poverty. And when you don’t have many real options, those few threads that offer a lifeline to a better standard of living take on an importance they should not deserve. When you only make minimum wage, why not risk a small part of it in the hope of escaping that interminable prison? There’s a pretty messed up logic to this lottery business. I suggest you read the article by Kim Phillips titled “Lotteryville, USA” which was in The Baffler #7, now available via this google books link.