An Illinois lottery commercial, in which a ginormous orange Powerball rolls through the Land of Lincoln and past a statue of the Great Emancipator himself, has Professor Owen Youngman pretty upset. ”The state of Illinois’ using images of Abraham Lincoln in TV ads to sell lottery tickets,” he writes, “is (to borrow a phrase from a recent presidential debate) as close to despicable as anything I can imagine.”
Here’s the ad:
Personally, I don’t get the outrage, unless one objects to the very notion of a lottery. There are indeed a good many arguments against lotteries which are worth considering, but in the ad Lincoln’s face is just one among many features of the Illinois landscape. They don’t go so far as to specifically invoke Lincoln, unless the crack about “dreaming bigger” refers to the famously ambitious and upwardly mobile Abe, who was a firm believer in America as a haven for aspiring self-made men.
This strikes me as much ado about nothing. Now, that upscale Lincoln eatery in D.C., on the other hand…
Hat tip: Abraham Lincoln Observer