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I’m Not Playing

March 30, 2012

I haven’t even thought about playing.  I’m so confident that I don’t want or need to play, that I never even talked to the love-of-my-life-total-babe about whether we should drop $20 on it out of entertainment budget.  What’s weird is that I can’t really tell you why…

I mean, yea, the lottery is a tax for people who suck at math.  At some point, even the math guys say that the low investment is worth a ticket for a chance.  I’ve listened to friends pitch me in the past on ideas that had a better chance, and that got a lot more than a lottery ticket of my money in return.  So, it’s not that I consider it a bad investment.

And it’s not that I haven’t thought about what I’d do with the money.  Heck, I’d really like to have a venture fund, a charitable foundation, and a building to run a couple small businesses all at once. A quarter bil would be a nice chunk to do that.  I’m fond of saying that the Fister household is not motivated by money, and that’s true.  But heck, wave enough money, and it at least raises an eyebrow or two.

So what about taxes?  For all the money flowing out, there’s a lot of money sitting in government coffers as a result of people taking a chance.  While I’m not a fan of over-taxation, I do often say that I don’t mind people paying “willing” taxes on something.  For instance, I’m happy to pay for a trailhead pass for both of my cars so that I can hike in the Northwest in the summer.  I know that most of the money actually goes back to the lands.  So if someone is willingly going to put in money, consistency would tell me to not complain about it all that much (I’d still like to see it targeted, rather than have governemnts dissemble about how they target the money).

So, okay, why?  I really don’t know.  It’s not like I want to keep the job I have for a lot longer.  I certainly have new things I want to do, and money would help.  Either way, I hope the winner or winners end up doing responsible things with the money, and I hope that most of the changes to life are positive.  I’m just not planning on one of those people to be me, and I’m fine with it.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2012 3:50 pm

    I’m not playing, I’m not a gambler. DH has this streak in him, and he’s playing the stock market, because that’s one place where we can win, statistically.

  2. ruralcounsel permalink
    April 1, 2012 5:56 am

    There is another way to look at it.

    Think of it as cheap entertainment. How many folks drop $8 to go see a movie and be entertained for 2 hours? The lottery allows you to spend $1 and be entertained for 3+ days, while exercising your imagination at the same time. If you play thinking you’ll win, I think you missed the point – because as you say, the mathematical odds are not in your favor.

    Those that turn it into a habit regardless of the jackpot, or buy more than one ticket per drawing, IMHO, have exceeded what is necessry to get 95+% of the ‘benefit’. Which is that slender thread of probability that enhances ones daydreams.

    • April 2, 2012 8:39 am

      I don’t begrudge anyone’s choice of how they spend money, though I do mind when they complain they don’t have enough and it’s clear that the issue is budget over revenue. I say the same thing about the government as well.

      There were 1.2 Billion tickets sold for this puppy over last week. Obviously a lot of people wanted some entertainment.

  3. March 30, 2012 2:13 pm

    It isn’t whether an individual expenditure — $20 or whatever — makes sense for the lottery. You could argue that most people blow through that much money anyway, and thus a chance at a return is an improvement.

    But that is a destructive notion, for your lifetime expenditures (once you buy into this) becomes a significant cost, a habit that drains cash away from people who can ill-afford it. As you said, a tax on people who are poor at math. The habit of lotteries and casinos is a sort of mild eternal punishment, self-inflicted, for those who cannot afford it and cannot manage it. (The latter often leads to the former, even among those with lots of cash.)

    It’s not that people who gamble this way are evil or even foolish; my own gambling on business ventures has had spectacular wins and losses,and many who gamble in casinos and on the lottery can manage it. But they have to be disciplined about their thinking — as all gamblers do — or they can get in serious trouble.

    And so few people manage that self-discipline in thinking, sadly. Low frustration tolerance is shaping up to be the big motivator of the 21st century. It is, in my mind, a poor sort of replacement for a work ethic.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

    • March 30, 2012 3:15 pm

      Maybe it’s a path to riches for those who only want the easy way. I agree that I’d rather save the money and use the combined cash to do something wonderful.

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