Why I Don't Buy Lottery Tickets

I have to admit that I have imagined what I would do if I suddenly won millions of dollars.  What I won’t do, is buy a lottery ticket.  Here are a few reasons why.

The whole concept of the lottery is built on almost everyone losing more money than they win. What are you buying when you buy a lottery ticket? A “chance” to win that is so infinitesimal as to almost not exist. 

At best, what you get is spending your money on your imagination. It is fun to imagine what you would do with all that money. 

At worst, what you have is a state sponsored game in which people are encouraged to spend money on nothing in hopes that they might receive a ton.  The lottery appeals to greed in many and holds out false hope to many more.  Depending on what survey you look at, 20-30% of respondents believe that the lottery is their best chance to gain wealth.

Statistically, poorer people buy more lottery tickets.  Those who can afford to throw their money to the wind the least are the ones who do it the most.  Your government encourages this.  Media outlets give countless dollars in free advertising by running news stories on it. 

There isn’t a Bible verse that says “Thou shalt not buy a lottery ticket” so I can’t say that either.  However, there are some sins from top to bottom that are definitely at work. 

From the top, a lot of money is made from the lottery, by the states, and by all the middlemen that promote, organize, run, and sell lottery tickets.  Their profit is based on losers.  This scheme takes advantage of the poor and the ignorant.  This is something that the Bible forbids explicitly. “Do not exploit the poor because they are poor” (Proverbs 22:22). “A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops” (Proverbs 28:3).

From the bottom, the major motivation for buying a lottery ticket is to get something for nothing.  This attitude is also forbidden in Scripture.  “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat”(2 Thessalonians 3:10). Greed and covetousness are also sins. 

If you have plenty of money, and you have fulfilled your obligations to God and family and want to throw it away go ahead.  But do remember, if you believe the Bible, then none of your money is yours.  God gives you everything.

So is it acceptable to buy a lottery ticket? That’s between you and God. 

If you know for certain that you are neither greedy nor foolish, then go ahead.  Of course, if you are neither, then I would ask, why are you playing?