Sunday, April 25, 2010

the face of the lottery….

Chris Shaw is a millionaire, many times over.  This time last week, he was a clerk in a Missouri convenience store, and had $28.96 in his checking account.  Today, he’s the proud owner of  a big check written in the amount of $258,500,000.Powerball Winner Missouri

I feel good for Chris, I really do.  But, I’m going to use him to make a point.

Here’s the point.  I’ve never seen a Donald Trump type win the lottery, not Warren Buffet, not Bill Gates, not anyone really rich.  I may be wrong, but I doubt that a millionaire has ever won the lottery. 

The lottery celebrates its winners with big checks and big prizes.  Every once-in-a-while, you’ll see the guy, the rags-to-riches winner, the Cinderella story, with cameras flashing, microphones everywhere, having their life changed forever by picking a random set of numbers that match a set of ping pong balls.

But, the lottery never shows the car running outside the convenience store, kids in back, cigarettes behind the counter, somebody cashing their check, using some for food, some for cigarettes, some for lottery tickets.  It’s a scene that goes on thousands, if not more times a day.

Those cameras don’t show the losers, the people who can’t afford to lose, but want to win so badly they can’t pass on the chance.  They saw it on TV, didn’t they?  Somebody just like them just won.  Next time it will be me.

The lottery is a tax.  It’s a tax on poor and middle class people.  It’s devious.  It only shows winners.  And, it turns everyone else into losers.  It’s the American Nightmare.


  1. I enjoy your always have something interesting to say. I also noticed your 'Live Traffic Feed' and put one on my blog! Thanks!

  2. I must admit I played tonight. When the jackpot gets large enough I seem to get sucked into wasting money on it. Pretty sure I just wasted five bucks tonight, but if I did win the last thing I'd do is a press conference. How many long lost relatives do you think showed up on that guy's doorstep? I'd have to leave the country.

  3. Tom, I am a lottery player too but I don't know if it's about winners and losers. I truly do love that fact that regular ordinary people can win life changing prizes playing the lottery. Yes, most times only 1 person would win while countless others won't but I don't know if that makes them losers. I guess I just hope that Good Luck will smile on me one of the times I buy my ticket, but unlike so many I only spend $1 for 1 ticket, each time the drawing is held. And I agree with Jeanette, about family coming out of the wood work.

  4. Good arguments make for a great debate! I agree with much of what you said, but not all.