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Do you play the lottery? Last night was the drawing for the MegaMillions lottery for over 600 million dollars! I bought a few tickets and obviously I am not one of the lucky two, but I am curious what you all would do if you won the lottery? I know that I would immediately pay off my student loans, give portions to my friends, family, the Church, and charity, and then I would invest and buy property with the rest. My grandpa used to say that playing the lottery is just buying a chance at a dream. You are paying money for a chance to have the life you’ve always dreamed of. I am personally pro-lottery and I believe it does a lot to help fund education and also gives people hope that their lives could change, no matter how bad they are right now.

I’ve gotten into debates before with people that believe the lottery takes advantage of the poor and encourages poor spending habits, and while I obviously think people shouldn’t spend their rent and food money on lottery tickets, I think that if someone is responsible they should have the right to invest in the hope that they may win enough money to make their dreams come true.

One down side I do see to the lottery, is the negative side effects of winning. I always wonder how lottery winners almost always end up squandering their winnings. I read an article one time that explained why poor people often never escape poverty, even if they earn or win enough money to do so. The article explained that if you were never taught proper money management and aren’t willing to learn it, then no matter how much money you earn or win, you will always return to poverty because you do not understand the important financial concepts that help protect your wealth. Ideas like investing, saving, paying off debts as soon as possible, and spending withing one’s means (big or small) are foreign to people that were never taught those things (rich or poor). This is obviously a large scale, cultural problem in the United States and many other economically prosperous countries today and can be seen on a micro scale in the case of lottery winners. I know it would be really hard for me not to give everyone that I knew money ,and it would be hard for me to say no to people that begged me for money, but I really do not understand how people can literally blow millions of dollars and have nothing to show for it, except more debt-that goes for lottery winners and non lottery winners alike.

I know everyone often says they would never work again, but I think it would be the opposite for me. I think winning or earning a large sum of money that freed me from the life I have now, would only embolden me to pursue my ultimate dreams, like going to an ivy league school, directing films, acting, traveling the world making documentaries and taking pictures, etc. I think having a large amount of money would give me the confidence to overcome all of the speed bumps and fears that hold me back today and work even harder towards my goals. I understand that that is a flaw and that I shouldn’t need money to pursue my dreams, but it is how it is…

So, for me, the first thing I think about when I play the lottery isn’t all the clothes, houses, cars, or boats I would buy, but instead the type of independent life I would be able to lead and the dreams and goals I would be able to pursue and accomplish if I won.

Do you play the lottery? Are you morally against the lottery, why or why not? If you won the lottery, what would you do with the winnings?