The problem with chasing all those zeros isn’t the dollar wasted with little to no chance of winning, it’s the dollar and dollars wasted each week, every week. Those dollars should be savored then stashed in a cookie jar; over a year they would add up to a worthwhile amount with even odds at a guaranteed payout.
A dollar and a dream; the stuff commercials are made of. Or nightmares – how many “winners” have had their lives changed and changed for the worse? And sometimes tragically.
It isn’t so much the amount of money but the value of the money and how it was obtained. Any man making his fortune through the skillful application of labor will have a better command over his wealth than the man who later inherits risking nothing. Lottery winnings having never been earned can never be owned. Instead, they own.
In a perfectly fair lottery, as John Locke observed, buying every ticket would not only guarantee a winner but guarantee the winner breaks even. But win or lose, the house always win. And the state-run house not only bleeds the laughable losers, it convinces the winner to take less rather than have it all, then taxes what’s left. Whom the state destroys, it first mocks.
There are still a few things worse than poverty. Paying dearly to chase an illusion to gain more poverty is one. If it cannot do nothing, rather than encouraging the reckless notion that something can be had for nothing, the state should inspire enterprise and gainful employment. In all labor there is profit.
The only thing worse than gambling and losing is gambling and winning.
“What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly: It is dearness only that gives everything its value.” Thomas Paine