Saturday, September 01, 2007

I won the lottery!

There is the old joke about the guy who keeps praying that God will let him win the lottery, and he doesn't win and doesn't win. And finally God tells him "Help me out here. Buy a ticket."

My stand is that if it is God's will for me to win the lottery, He has no trouble providing the ticket. Buying a lottery ticket is a loosing proposition, and therefore is poor stewardship of the money that God has blessed us with.

Today the news reports that four people won the $330 million MegaMillions jackpot, including one person here in Texas. A $330 million payoff on odds of 1 in 176 million sounds like a pretty good deal. What you won't hear them trumpeting so loudly is that no one of those people will walk away with anything remotely close to $330 million. The cash value of the jackpot is $190 million. Split four ways, they each get $47.5 million. But the government, as they hold out that money with one hand, grab back 28% of it with the other hand in taxes, leaving $34 million, or about ten percent of the advertised payout. Spending a dollar for a 1 in 176 shot at $34 million doesn't sound like such a great deal, does it? Not that $34 million is anything to sneeze at. But when you consider that people spent $600 million chasing that jackpot it seems like a case of mass hysteria.

The real winners are those who didn't buy into it. Like me.

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