Perusing some blogs today, I came across this one, written by a woman reflecting on the huge amazeballs of a lottery that happened this past week. She mentioned what she would do with the money, but noted that she didn’t really want anything, and besides, all the things she did want, she had to work/wait for, which made getting the actual thing that much sweeter.
Totally get it.
But, unlike her, I will never win the lottery, because I won’t play the lottery ever again. There is wayyyyyy too much pressure involved.
Here are the problems with the lottery.
1) If I won, I’d be happy for about five seconds, because some immediate problems would be solved for my extended family. Hooray! …But then there would be a lot of money left. And what would I do with it? Would I be doing the right things with it? Helping the right people? Helping enough people? I don’t know anything about business or charities. I seriously would just run around and physically throw money at poor people. I know that wouldn’t do much good in the long term, which is why I’d be a horrible lottery winner. I’d shame my family even more than I do now.
2) Then there’s what happens when other people find out you’ve won (and in PA they have it on public record if you win). I read once about this guy who won a crazy-big lotto a couple of years ago and he straight-up had to hire SECURITY DETAIL to go with him when he went to pick up his check. He didn’t even have the money on him yet and he was being shaken down like an old bottle of mustard. NO THANKS.
3) Largely speaking, there weren’t a ton of super-wealthy people that were prominently featured in the Bible. Jesus was obviously poor. He didn’t bring in much income after He started His ministry. Fishermen weren’t super wealthy. Tax collectors (those who had more money because they shook down the ones they collected taxes from and skimmed off the top) kind of had money, but they’re by-and-large not spoken well of in the scriptures. The only real person that I can recall who had more money that was worth mentioning was Joseph of Arimethea, and he was only mentioned because his money was the only reason Jesus could be buried in the first place. So, okay, Jesus. But look at the Saints, too: not a lot of money among them.
Money distracts, I guess. It shifts focus, even for a little while. Suddenly, if you have money, you’re not worried about God providing for you anymore. You lose track of the idea of what “give us this day our Daily Bread” means because you’ve got daily bread.
I’m not against people having money. I’m not. I’m in a position to talk about it because my husband is an excellent provider for our family, and practically speaking, money is what gives us food and electricity and Internet access and phone services. I even think having a lot of money can be a good thing. But, and I know it might sound weird, but I am totally against someone (especially the poor and lower-middle-class, since they tend to play the lottery the most overall), suddenly waking up with $300 million dollars. That CANNOT be good for you. It could be good to have that much money if you’ve worked for it, because you came up with it – you have a history with it, you understand its boundaries. But there’s no way you can go through life with that much unearned money and still understand who you are and who the people around you are. This is also why I am fascinated by the inner workings of filthy rich children who come from tremendous family empires and have no concept of money. It’s really similar. It ruins people.
My husband thinks I’m crazy. I bought a lotto ticket the last time it went really big, just because everyone else was doing it. I won zero dollars, and the greatest emotion I felt when I realized that was relief. I could just go back to being me.