Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Sunday, January 10, 2016

two dollar dreams

 No one won the Powerball jackpot. It is now estimated the next one will be worth about 1.3 billion dollars. Yes, that's billion with a b. An amazing amount of money and far beyond my true comprehension. I'll have to buy a few tickets even though the last three I purchased only matched one number. Six dollars for a few days of dreaming. It is true you have no chance of winning unless you buy that ticket. It is also true that to change your individual odds of matching those winning numbers you would have to buy a minimum of 150,000 tickets. Then the odds change in your favor by I/10 of one percentage point ! So, why did I buy six ? Seems like your chances are better doesn't it ? The reality is otherwise. Still I will continue to buy several. I like to buy them at different places. It is fun to dream.
 Another amazing fact is that there is more than enough money to pay that amount out. What is amazing about that is how that money can be raised, with a surplus, when the end result may benefit ourselves more than others. It does say a little something about our humanity. Many of us hesitate to give to a charity while we buy lottery tickets. Is it because the tickets only cost a dollar or two, or is it because we stand to gain ? I do think that most of us feel that donating a dollar or two would accomplish little.  A small donation like a dollar does seem insignificant. I wonder how much money is spent on the administration of the lottery program ? I mean, look at a casino. They are quite elaborate places with many amenities. They surely have a large operating budget yet still pay out a substantial amount in winnings. The money is there ! It is there by the " donation " in relatively small amounts of individuals. Everyone, with the exception of the donors, is making money. The employees are making a wage, the owners are making a profit. The city makes money off the business and government collects taxes. Yes, the individual has the chance to win big, and that is why they go. It is a temptation.
 I'm not saying it is wrong and that we shouldn't do it. I will say it is not a fiscally responsible thing to do. There is no harm however if done within your means. Some will argue the morality of the issue and I can see that. The moral issue being we should be giving to help others, not in the hope of helping ourselves. What if you do both ? If I were to give, in equal amounts. to the charity of my choice the same amount I spent on gambling, would that then be alright ? Is it wrong to pray to win ? Many do, and many will question their sincerity of belief. But what if they win and spend the money to do good ? Was it then the provenience of God that they won ? That brings just blind luck into the question. Do you believe in luck ? I certainly do as I can not find any other explanation for certain events. The question I have not answered is, does God control luck ? Is everything that happens due to the intervention of God ? God gave us all free will to do and act as we please so that indicates he does not intervene unless requested to do so. What if he fails to intervene when asked ? What does that mean ? For me, I would say the more likely answer is, I failed to listen. The fault surely lies with me. So, I guess you could say, in a way, we make our own luck. Man is imperfect and so the things he makes will be as well. I can pray to my God for answers but not for luck. That seems reasonable.
 Winning the lottery is certainly just a matter of blind luck. Man thought of the concept of gambling. Man has been gambling since the beginning of time. It started with Adam. Eating of the fruit of knowledge was a gamble. Man lost. We have been gambling ever since. We will continue to do so in the hope of personal gain. That is what is at the heart of gambling. Playing the lottery is gambling. We will tell ourselves it is an amusement. Can we afford to be amused ? Yes, I suppose we can. Money is a man made thing as well. It is imperfect. It really is a matter of choice isn't it ? I'll buy a couple more chances. My hope would be that should luck come my way, I would use that fortune to do good. The only question being, how much would it take ? Can I not do good with a dollar ? The answer would have to be more money than I could use for personal gain and how much is that ? I don't expect I will ever be able to give an honest answer to that question. But, I'm gonna try to find out.