Lottery is often claimed to be "tax on stupid people", but a more careful analysis shows that to be a naive view.
The underlying assumption is that the lotto players would be better of if they invested their capital carefully, because in the long run that gives a higher payoff. However, people in the classes that play lotto are guaranteed to die well before the interest rates start to accumulate. Thus, the choice is between remaining poor and exploited the rest of your life, or an extremely small but positive probability of becoming wealthy. For people who are good at neither rapping nor boxing, lotto is the one way out of the ghetto - and perhaps a quite rational choice.
Of course, subjectively that probability is not so small, because we are constantly presented with lucky winners thorugh tabloids and television. The working class is therefore given an (admittedly illusionary) ladder to climb on, which defuses any revolutionary sentiments - lottery is a modern opiate of the masses. (The myth of social mobility through clever entrepreneurship, the American Dream, is maintained for similar reasons).
A better characterization would thus be "tax on poor and powerless people". The government monopoly seems quite cynical.