I recently acquired a copy of the out of print ‘Inside Las Vegas’ by Mario Puzo.  I started reading it in the hospital waiting room today, when I came across a paragraph that caught my attention and inspired me to write this entry.  It concerns lotteries.  Puzo states; “The people who can afford it least will gamble most.  The classic example is lotteries.  You can hardly call lotteries gambling.  It is really a drowning man clutching at a straw.  All those millions of people locked into jobs that will never make them even middle-class buy tickets as their one hope for salvation.  Their one chance to escape a life on unremitting labour.  That’s not gambling-that’s some sort of religious act.”

When i became of legal age to partake in The National Lottery, although I dabbled, i was largely of the opinion that lotteries were a means of covertly taxing the masses and avoided them unless the jackpot was of such magnitude that it seemed inhumane to resist.  Now I play every week.  Am i desperately seeking salvation by means of some quasi religious gambling act?  I don’t think so.  I would agree with the extract i’ve taken from Puzo, in that for many this is indeed the case.  However for me, and only accounting for myself, I can simply say it is a matter of self deception.  I have convinced myself that for a minimal £1, I have the potential to generate several million.  I think it is the greed in me that drives me to participate, as opposed to the desperation. Ultimately, I am not, and do not anticipate being at a point where I am seeking salvation, “clutching at straws”.   Thus, by consistently purchasing my lottery tickets each week, I am considering it a high risk, low cost investment, that is unlikely to ever pay off, but will not change my circumstances through succumbing to the urge to participate.

Therefore, I think it is fair to say that there possibly are two majorities who invest and gamble in lotteries, those who see them as some kind of last resort in an act of desperation.  And those like me, who just think, fuck it, it’s only a pound, and I might get a shit load of money, but probably not.


1 Response to “Lotteries”

  1. 1 sky010 April 13, 2008 at 11:20 am

    I know what you are saying. And I’d say lotteries are overall doing more good than bad in the scheme of things

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