This has to be one of the most over-used and unoriginal phrases.
The lottery is a tax on the stupid…
Or my personal favourite… the lottery is a tax on the mathematically challenged.
Gosh, that’s so desperately witty.
This phrase has been abused by dull, smug people for years. Sadly, they think nobody will notice that they didn’t actually come up with the phrase.
If only there was a tax on the comically challenged.
For one, I don’t believe for a second that these witty geniuses have never played the lottery themselves. Or other games of chance.
Furthermore, nobody buys a lottery ticket as an investment. We don’t expect it to be worth millions.
Yes, we hope we will win. We dream that we will hit the jackpot.
But we all know it’s very unlikely to happen. But the fact is, it could.
And that’s what we’re buying.
Firstly, we’re buying a little dream time. What would we do with that jackpot money – what would we buy, where would we live, what car would we drive, how would we help out our family and friends.
Secondly, it’s entertainment!
I don’t think I’m alone in saying that, actually, I quite enjoy playing the lottery. Whether I play in a lottery syndicate, or I buy a quick pick ticket at my local shop. It’s fun.
Some big winners carry on buying lottery tickets. They must be really stupid then, right? Or, could it be because they just enjoy playing too..?
And for a pound, a dollar or a euro – that’s some very cheap entertainment.
I’ve spent a lot more than that renting movies that entertained me a lot less.
Some players probably don’t fully understand the odds. But does that really make them foolish?
Is it foolish to have a little fun, enjoy a little ‘what if’ dreaming with your friends or work colleagues?
For less than half the price of a cappucino?
I think not.
And what of the winners dear dull witted lottery basher?
I’d love to put one of you in a room full of lottery winners. You know, a whole bunch of those stupid mathematically challenged people. The ones who dared to dream a little, and found their little dream became a great big wonderful reality.
It’s actually quite hard to take offense when someone calls you ‘stupid’ for risking a bit of pocket change. Particularly when you’ve already become one of the tens of thousands of overnight millionaires created by lottery games.
Yes, it would have been far more sensible to put that money in the bank. And enjoy the benefits of compound interest that would see it double to cover the price of a whole cappucino in around 20 years…
And maybe we could do that with all the other money we waste on having a bit of fun and enjoying life.
Or maybe, just maybe, we could live a little instead.
There is one aspect of the maths that every lottery player clearly understands however.
The chances of winning a jackpot may be remote, but not buying a ticket makes them precisely zero.
Good luck in the next draw.
P.S. Hit the Like button below if you agree that playing the lottery is not stupid!