For the past 40 years, I have had the fun experience of being able to play the football sports score boards that were present in almost all taverns and bars throughout this state.

I guess that the enjoyment centered on the fact that the odds of winning were exactly one to one. In other words, nobody made a profit from these boards. If a person bought all 100 squares at $1 each, that person was guaranteed to win $100. Even odds.

Two years ago, the Oregon Lottery Commission decided that these boards were posing a financial threat to their new football scoreboard game and unilaterally forced bar and tavern owners to stop offering these boards, under penalty of lottery sanction and removal of all lottery gambling devices.

What gives them the right to make this decision without our input? The odds of winning while playing lottery games are stacked against us. We all understand that. But we play anyway, because the revenues are designed to assist our schools, parks, and so on, in addition to the possibility of occasionally scoring a windfall.

Personally, I play $5 a night, and that's my limit, but on Super Bowl Sunday, I boycotted the lottery. It's not so much an issue of losing the football board game as it is of losing our voice in the decision making process to the bureaucrats. I demand the right to make my own decisions!

Ted Patterson