Bet You Didn’t Know This About Lotteries

Most hard-working Americans don’t have as much money as they’d like.  They don’t throw money to the wind because it has to last to the next paycheck.  They don’t spend frivolously because they’re trying to put a little back for a summer vacation and hope to have enough for the children to “have a good Christmas.”  Most are also trying to pay down credit card and education debt to save some of that unending interest.

Until it comes to lottery tickets.  Then the rules no longer apply.  Did you know that Americans gamble more money each year than they spend on groceries?  When it comes to chances of winning the lottery, a person is either in the group that believes it is absolutely impossible (to win) or in the group that believes one has a very good chance (to win), so why not play?  Which one is right?

Keep in mind that the Bible forbids us to be unwise – which is another way of saying ‘don’t be foolish’ or ‘do not act stupidly.’  “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:17 NASB).  We are to inform ourselves with the facts and then make correct and good decisions.

In the U.S., you have 1 in 120,526,770 chances of winning the Powerball, and 1 in 135,145, 920 chances of winning the MegaMillions.  These numbers are fixed every time the lottery is running.  Buying more tickets does little to increase your chances of winning.   Many who gamble have no idea what the odds are that they will ever win more than they put in.  They have no idea that they are participating in the biggest hoax in America.  James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, and a member of the National Council on Gambling, calls the lottery “the most pernicious form of gambling.”

“O naive ones, understand prudence; And, O fools, understand wisdom.”  (Proverbs 8:5 NASB)

(From Allen Webster, Jacksonville, AL church of Christ, House to House/Heart to Heart Tract/Booklet Series