Many pseudo-liberals are very unhappy about lotteries. They believe the very poor, who are the principal buyers of lottery tickets, are squandering money they can’t afford. We are talking as much as $20-30 per play from people who are on welfare. The lottery, in their ill-considered view, is a drug that is sucking the blood out of the poor.
NONSENSE! The pseudo-liberals, most of whom have income above $90,000 regard playing the lottery as a sure-fire losing proposition. In fact, it is a sure-fire winning proposition. For the man with $90,000 buying a “losing” ticket” is buying a losing ticket. For him, nothing can justify spending $2 on a ticket except winning, and that, he likes to say, won’t happen. So this fine gentleman takes his $60 out to a nice dinner at least once each week.
In fact, for sensible people, the purchase of a lottery ticket is a very inexpensive way to buy a daydream. Hence, even if they lose, they win. The actual winning, should it happen, is only a bonus. It is the icing on a nice cake; it is the whipped cream on the icing; it is the cherry that sits atop the whole shebang. But whatever happens, the sensible lottery player wins. In fact, he can’t lose. What terrific daydream that last 3-6 days can yield so much pleasure as the imagined way one can use the $millions?
What would the $90,000+ pseudo-liberal have a poor person do with his money? Does he think it would be better to go out to an expensive restaurant and fritter away a few hard-earned bucks on a meal he can’t enjoy? Most people, including the poor, know best what pleases them. Poor people know that the more you spend the less value you get. Is anybody so stupid as to think a $100,000 car is twice as good as a $50,000 one? Or even that a $40 meal is twice as tasty as a $20 meal? Those who spend fortunes know that, too. They like conspicuous consumption. (about which Thorsten Veblen had much to say in his THEORY OF THE LEISURE CLASS). But conspicuous consumption may be good up to a point and, after that, is stupid, disgusting and foul.
I very much doubt that the $2, $10, or even $20 that a poor person spends on lottery tickets can be put to a purpose that would yield more pluck for the buck than he gets on lottery tickets.
P.S. The value of certain lotteries is approaching $1 BILLION! When lottery values get that high, buying tickets is not only lots of fun but wise and sound economically because the number of combinations in a mega jackpocket is about 175 million. If you had a spare $350 million plus the time to buy many tickets, you ought to buy 175 million tickets. Even if you had to share the winnings, you’d probably come out ahead.
SO WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH LOTS OF MONEY? LET THE GREAT ZERO MOSTEL TELL YOU.