I was asked yesterday about joining the office lottery pool. From what I understand, everyone pitches in a couple of bucks a week, and then our secretary goes and buys everyone a lottery ticket. The winner (should anyone happen to do so) then acquires a little extra cash and a few bragging rights.
I decline the opportunity to join the pool. I was actually a little bit surprised that the others even took part in this weekly tradition, given that we are all statisticians and are all aware (presumably) of the odds of actually winning anything significant. ((How does 1 in a gazillion strike you?)) It has always seemed to me that spending money on lottery tickets, however little or much, is an incredibly wasteful use of financial resources. If people would total up how much they spend on lottery tickets and compare that number against actual winnings, I think (or at least, I would _hope_) that they would be embarassed. It’s actually kind of comparable to those who smoke – you are essentially taking your own money, saying “I don’t need this anymore,” and setting a match to it. I have just never been able to justify using my own money so recklessly.
I am grateful that I have never been tempted to gamble. I am grateful that my parents raised me to appreciate the value of a dollar so that I will not be irresponsible with those resources that God has given me. Besides, as a new homeowner, I have plenty of things to spend my money on that will yield greater returns than any lottery ticket will. I’d much rather put my finances toward appreciating the value of my property. In the longrun, it will be a whole lot more satisfying, I think.