Things I’m Not Going To Do Anymore – Play The Lottery…

Things I’m Not Going To Do Anymore – Play The Lottery after the break…

Things I’m Not Going To Do Anymore – Play The Lottery…

OK, I’ll admit it. I haven’t been posting a lot lately. Well, I’m going to try to fix that by posting as often as possible. Probably not every day but, hopefully, often enough to revive this blog somewhat.

Here is my first in what will hopefully be a weekly series – “Things I’m Not Going To Do Anymore.” The title explains it all – These are activities that I refuse to do anymore. Some of these activities I haven’t done in months, years, or even decades. A few of these activities I have only stopped recently. I’m sure we’ll agree to disagree on more then a few occasions.

So, for the inaugural post for this series…

I’m Not Going To Play the Lottery Anymore.

Seriously… Playing the lottery in any capacity or variety is stupid. It is really, really dumb. Now, I haven’t played the lottery in years. Even before that, I would only occasionally buy a ticket when the jackpot reached $300+ million dollars or some humungous amount. However, even these exceptions were ridiculously stupid in hindsight.

Look – You’ve got a better chance of being beaten to death by Bigfoot while Elvis and JFK are watching then winning the lottery. It’s ridiculous – The odds are so heavily stacked against you that you might not even bother. Imagine, if you will, you played Russian Roulette with a revolver that had the same number of chambers as the odds are for winning the jackpot in the lottery. You would die of old age before you would commit suicide playing that particular type of Russian Roulette.

“But it’s just one dollar (or two, depending on the game)… What’s one dollar?” Well, apparently, to you, nothing. That’s why you’re poor. That’s why you’ll be working into your 70s and 80s while people who are a bit smarter with their finances will be lying on the beach in their 50s, laughing with their far younger and attractive spouses that retirement is really boring. How much money have you spent on lotteries and how much money have you won back? Odds are, you’ve given them more money then they have given back to you. Imagine if you had all that money right now to spend… I bet it would be worth a lot to you right now, now wouldn’t it?

“But I’m helping the government fund [education, the highways, environmental protection, fill in the cause here] by playing the lottery.” No, you aren’t. Here’s what is happening in most cases – You give that dollar to the convenience store clerk, the clerk gives eighty cents to the lottery commission (or corporation) and the lottery commission gives sixty cents to the government. The government puts it into what is called a “General Fund” which means they get to spend that money on anything they darn well please. Look, if you want to be charitable, be charitable. Cut a check to the local museum. Give blood at a local blood drive. Give away books to the local library so that they can sell them. That’s real charity that helps real organizations, not buying a lottery ticket.

“But I’m helping the economy!” No, you aren’t. You’re helping THEIR economy. If you want to help the economy, be better with your finances and spend money that is going to give you a better long-term rate of return. Live in a house? Weather proof it so that it’s more energy efficient. Drive a car? Maintain it so that it gets better fuel economy. Buy a book that will help you learn a trade. Go to a local concert featuring local musicians. Go to the local museum. Buy gardening tools so that you can grow your own food in a garden. Buy a bicycle so that you don’t even need a car. Heck, put it in a savings account so that it at least gains some amount of interest. A savings bond. You’re not helping the economy. Shut up about that. Even you don’t believe that.

I’m not your parents, your teacher, your clergy, your doctor or anyone else. If you want to go ahead and waste what little disposable income you have on an organization bent on legally ripping you off, I’m not going to stop you. Just don’t act shocked or surprised when, thirty years later, you’re stocking shelves at a department store to make ends meet after retiring from your main job or justifying why you’ve become an economic hermit from society in order to pay for your medication, rent, heat or some combination of those three. All those $1 and $2 donations to people who don’t deserve it adds up and it adds up with you being poorer. I can’t stop you from playing the lottery but I’m not going to do that anymore.

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