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Breaking News Home | All | Religion | Society | Tech | Choice | Fridays | SA Newsroom
FRONT PAGE  |  10/21/2017
WEDNESDAY, DEC 5, 2012  |  7 comments
Two Faces of the Lottery

It was once an activity that was outlawed for decades. Today, however, it's officially sanctioned, easily accessible, popular, and has gained a strong foothold in American culture. Just this past week, a half billion dollar Powerball jackpot has been the stuff of everyday conversation, with people talking about what they would do with the money if they won.

The Associated Press reports that the holders of two tickets, which were sold at a convenience store in a suburb of Phoenix and a gas station in a small northwestern Missouri town, have won the enormous prize.

Amazing! It all seems to be such a bright, happy, and appealing picture. It's like a big beautiful rainbow with a huge lucky pot of gold at the end. But gambling in any form has two faces and it's the more sinister side that is rarely seen. ...


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· Page 1 ·  Found: 7 user comment(s)
News Item12/5/12 8:31 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Mike wrote:
Then again, people don't seem to comprehend the trillions government is spending, either. Too many zeroes?
The absurdity of it all suggests to me that rational thinking, educated or not, has nothing to do with it. They just like the good feelings from free money or hope thereof (whether big jackpots or big "entitlements"), & hang the consequences. Where is the shame about taking what they didn't earn?

"My glass is small, but I drink from my glass." — overheard by a French author in the '60s

7

News Item12/5/12 8:07 PM
Mike | New York  Find all comments by Mike
Neil wrote:
FYI, statistics is not usually taught before college.
Just the same, you're assuming people even care to apply what math they've learned; I've met well-educated folks who play the lottery or visit Las Vegas casinos. There have even been college students who systematically work game tables at Vegas trying to beat the house w/o cheating, & fail not because of statistics, but because casino detectives catch on to them & throw them out. Casinos don't like people who are too clever, which ought to give us a hint.
---
The fascinating thing to me is, when the lottery has say, a 20 million prize, you get the usual gamblers. The more it increases to "powerball" status, the longer the lines get to buy tickets. It's as if 20 million wasn't enough to attract them. What, wouldn't that pay for a new car? Then again, people don't seem to comprehend the trillions government is spending, either. Too many zeroes?
6

News Item12/5/12 6:17 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Scott McMahan wrote:
State-sponsored gambling depends on a population which doesn't know math and how bad a deal lotteries are.
FYI, statistics is not usually taught before college.

Just the same, you're assuming people even care to apply what math they've learned; I've met well-educated folks who play the lottery or visit Las Vegas casinos. There have even been college students who systematically work game tables at Vegas trying to beat the house w/o cheating, & fail not because of statistics, but because casino detectives catch on to them & throw them out. Casinos don't like people who are too clever, which ought to give us a hint.

In short, you're making a very shaky assumption that education alone will affect personal morality. Biblical Christianity used to have enough cultural "pull" to dissuade folks from gambling regardless of higher education; even non-gambling card games, for example, were once frowned upon, esp. among Puritans who (I would guess) knew little about statistics.

I am grateful that my parents, though not Christians, at least had the sense to stay away from gambling venues.

5

News Item12/5/12 5:14 PM
Furth  Find all comments by Furth
"Just this past week, a half billion dollar Powerball jackpot has been the stuff of everyday conversation"

Lottery is covetousness.
Covetousness is sin.

Government approved covetousness is the mark of a sinful nation under the wrath of God.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. Exodus 20:17.

4

News Item12/5/12 8:26 AM
Rufus | Fort Worth, TX  Protected NameFind all comments by Rufus
Tremendous article. Very well stated. I would add there is a litany of stories of lottery "winners" who wind up cursed by it and worse off for having won than prior to their victory. God is not mocked.
3

News Item12/5/12 7:38 AM
The poster formerly known as Russ | Texas  Find all comments by The poster formerly known as Russ
Don't worry Scott. The state run education system is more concerned with teaching kids about having two daddys than they are about math. The state lotteries have nothing to worry about.
2

News Item12/5/12 6:39 AM
Scott McMahan | Internet  Find all comments by Scott McMahan
State-sponsored gambling and state-provided public education seem to be a conflict of interest. State-sponsored gambling depends on a population which doesn't know math and how bad a deal lotteries are. State-run education is supposed to teach math, but their funding depends on the "education lottery". If educators teach math, they're working against their own best interests.
1
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