American Sweepstakes: How One Small State Bucked the Church, the Feds, and the Mob to Usher in the Lottery Age by Kevin Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
From Powerball to Mega Millions, nearly everyone in the United States has heard about stage-run lotteries, but just a little over 50 years ago that wasn’t the case as seen in “American Sweepstakes”. In Kevin Flynn’s short history of the birth of the New Hampshire Sweepstakes, the beginning of the modern age of state lotteries is chronicled and how a legal state-run lottery system was created in the process.
Flynn chronicles how the New Hampshire Sweepstakes came into law before back over the relationship between the United States and gambling, both legal and otherwise. Flynn then described the federal laws that New Hampshire needed to tightrope around as well as create a corruption free contest that people would have confidence in. Although many individuals were highlighted in the book, it was Governor John King and the Sweepstakes Direction Ed Powers who dominated the narrative of the history.
Throughout the book, Flynn spends time on a variety of historical subjects that impacted the starting of the Sweepstakes. The Irish Sweepstakes, the acknowledged model for New Hampshire’s law, and the Brink’s Robbery are the two big historical digressions that add to the reader’s perspective of the entire story. In fact foreign policy and federal politics also played a role as both the Kennedy Presidency, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the 1964 New Hampshire Democratic primary were all contributing factors that were non insignificant.
“American Sweepstakes” does not reach 300 pages, but crunch in that short length Kevin Flynn wrote a concise but thorough history of the state-run lottery that launched the present ‘American Lottery Age’. If you enjoy reading a book about a specific historical event this is the book for you without the dash of agenda politics then this is the book for you, not only do you get the story behind the event but also how other interesting historical events played their own part in a little remember event.
I received this book through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program in exchange for an honest review.
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