Lotteries Suck.

Sep 23

I Hate Lotteries.

I hate the false hope they give people, fooling them into believing the odds of 100 million to one are fair.

I hate how they entice desperate people to partake in the vain pursuit of the big win because some lucky working class schmuck just like them got lucky.

I hate how they make people believe they can “game the system”, or “beat the house”, when the odds of doing so are about the same as in a casino. In other words, almost nil.

I hate the photos of these happy, grinning stiffs posing with their big cheques, perpetuating the myth that, “Hey, if I can win, you can, too!”

I hate that they don’t show the harsh reality of most winners, who blow their new riches on shady investors, greedy family and friends, or their own stupidity.

I hate that the first thing most of these stupid winners proclaim is they’re either going to buy a car, or a truck, or a house, or take a cruise, while claiming they won’t quit their jobs. Which will last about a few days, until they realize, “I’m a millionaire, I don’t need that stupid job!”.

I hate how winning a lottery changes most people. Sure, there’s always exceptions, like the sweet elderly couple from Truro, Nova Scotia who gave almost all their winnings to charity and family because she was dying of cancer and they had no need for all that money.  Most, however, don’t know how to handle their instant wealth, turning them in greedy, selfish jerks.

I hate how it ultimately tears apart family and friends, who begrudge the winner for failing to share enough of their good fortune. I hate how long-lost “friends” and family members slither out of the woodwork to renew acquaintances in hopes of getting their hands on that wealth.

If I suddenly became wealthy, I’d pay off all my debts and float on the interest for the rest of my life. At least, that’s what I like to believe I would do. I’ll probably never find out, because I don’t waste what little pocket money I have on lottery tickets.

A fool's game.

A fool’s game.

 Instant wealth through lottery winnings turn most people into greedy, lizard-brained bastards. They turn their backs on the family, friends, neighbours and co-workers with whom they shared life’s joys and sorrows in the misguided belief millions of dollars is the answer to their problems. 

Most lottery corporations are government-owned, with much of the revenue going toward government services. It’s a cash cow which is almost better than taxes, so therefore it’s considered worthwhile, just like government-owned casinos. No harm in feeding a gambling addiction when the money from these poor slobs goes to pay for roads and schools, plus some for treating gambling addiction if there’s enough left.

That’s better than having those lotteries (and casinos) run by mobsters, but doesn’t make the fact it profits on greed, desperation and stupidity any less repugnant.

In truth we can’t keep the vices away from people, so it’s best that the government controls it and uses the proceeds to bolster its coffers and provide some treatement for gambling addicts.

Casinos at least give you a nice hotel, complimentary drinks, a big all-you-can-eat buffet and decent entertainment when you’re either tired of gambling or running out of money. Lotteries give you nothing except a piece of paper with some numbers on it, and the vague hope you might actually get something from it.

By the way, I don’t condemn casinos owned by natives (or aboriginal peoples, if you prefer) as it’s only fair they exploit the greed and weakness of stupid white people, considering how much misery white people visited upon them since the 17th century.

Lotteries prey on the helplessness of the working class, offering the promise – at obscene odds – of hitting the jackpot. It’s telling us money can buy happiness.

It’s bullshit, from the stupid scratch and win tickets, to the “set for life” tickets, to the big multi-million jackpots. Sure, a few people actually win, but compare the number of winners to the general population, and as the Canadian comedy duo MacLean and MacLean once said, you stand a better chance of getting hit by an old Soviet satellite than you have of winning the lottery.

The commercials for the lotteries are particularly annoying. Casinos tend to keep their ads more subdued. You know what’s going on there, but they’re not offering you a chance for a better life. They’re offering games of chance, like a midway for adults.

Lottery commercials, however, are selling fantasies to keep people buying their tickets, preying on the desperation of the working class. They’re offering the promise of changing your life, convincing hardworking people they’re better off investing money in something with virtually no payoff, rather than putting those dollars into a retirement fund, or their children’s education, or getting out of debt.

My dear, departed Grandfather once said of lottery tickets, “You’d be better off taking the money you’re spending on them and flush it down the toilet. It’s the same thing”.

That’s advice I’ve stuck with. Sadly, too many people don’t.

It’s one thing to occasionally plunk down some spare change on a loto ticket. It’s another to believe you can fund your retirement by buying hundreds of dollars worth of lottery tickets, which by 2010 was what over 30 percent of the Canadian population did.

Lotteries are a sick game, preying on the weak, the stupid, the gullible and the hopeless.

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