Last night, someone in New Jersey won the grand prize in the Powerball lottery: $338 million dollars, the fourth largest Powerball prize ever.
It seems like every time the lottery jackpot gets really big, the lottery becomes headline news. People line up for tickets, news shows talk about odds, and people who normally don’t buy tickets buy tickets. Because you can’t win if you don’t play. Even though you probably won’t win anyway.
Students talk about it too. It’s fun to think about what you’d do if you suddenly had millions of dollars.
So this becomes a great time to use the “Lottery Winners” leveled reading articles.
Like the other Leveled Reading Articles, these three are basically the same story, but written at three different reading levels. Every student can participate in discussions, answer questions, and practice reading skills, but they can read at a level that is more appropriately challenging.
This is one of my favorites because it always sparks a lot of discussion and debate.
Basically, someone went to a convenience store and bought a lottery ticket. She quickly realized she asked for the wrong numbers, so she gave the first ticket back and bought a new one.
Of course, that first ticket ended up being a big winner.
The original buyer says she should get the winnings since she bought it first.
The cashier at the store says she should get the winnings since she paid for the discarded ticket out of her own pocket before the drawing took place.
The owner of the convenience store says she should get the winnings since the store is typically responsible for any tickets that are printed but not paid for.
So, who should get the money?
Students will have to read back through the article for details (as the Common Core State Standards say they should), and there’s a great opportunity to bring in additional resources. What kinds of laws are there in your state about lottery winnings? What other information would we need to determine who really gets the money?
In the end, I don’t know how the situation turned out in real life, which I’m kind of glad for. That way no one ends up being “right” or “wrong” about their conclusion.
As long as they can back up their conclusion using facts from their reading, it’s possible!