Winning the lottery
Winning the lottery
Dreaming of the day when you never have to work again? Just buy a lottery ticket! Winning the lottery is a hugely popular form of entertainment the world over, but it has gone to a new level in the USA. In 2016 the US Powerball jackpotted for the first time ever to over US$1 billion – let’s just spell that out ... $1,000,000,000 (a lot of zeros in anyone’s language) – and made another world record when it’s prize value further escalated to US$1.58 billion.
And the US Powerball is not even the country’s only lottery company; the US Mega Millions lottery is another of the lottery giants, delivering a whopping US$1.53 billion to a single ticket owner in October 2018, making it the biggest single win ever.
These are staggering figures and certainly have my attention. Even little old Australia has got into the swing of mega millions, with an AUD$150 million jackpot going off in mid 2019 to three winners. The possibility of winning anything, let alone such a huge amount, sends people into a tizz of excitement. Who hasn’t at some time imagined life would be better if they won?
Many workplaces have a syndicate going for its employees when lottery prize values jackpot. Productivity dives while discussions as to what one would do with the money flourish, workers dreaming of the day they’ll never have to work again. The amusement of wondering what their employer would do if a bunch of syndicate-winning workers just didn’t turn up to work after their win is palpable. People fantasise, sometimes desperately, of winning the lottery; some even have winning a part of their retirement plan! But with a big win so unlikely, what keeps people in the game?
First, let’s look at who is playing lottery:
- In the USA, it’s around 30% of the over 18s population (over 90 million)
- In the U.K. it’s a staggering 70% of the over 18s population (close to 45 million)
- In Australia, 44.8% of the population bought a lottery ticket in the 12 months to June 2018
The statistics above for the USA means that over US$70 billion a year is spent buying tickets in lotteries. It doesn’t matter where one lives in the world either; if you’re keen to play, then from the comfort of your living room, one can buy a ticket through an online website in lotteries in Peru, South Africa, Italy, Japan, Romania and France to name but a few. In fact, at the time of writing, on an average, no-huge-jackpot-day, the total prize draw up for grabs was at a phenomenal US$1.4 billion. This is through just one online booking website and there are hundreds if not thousands more lottery companies offering ‘grand prizes’.
Add together all the countries in the world that offer lotteries and we will have an even more extraordinary figure. Important to note too, that these statistics account for the regulars who have an account with an agency and do not account for the many millions (likely hundreds of millions) more who buy one-off tickets in the big jackpots.
And let us not forget other ‘forms of entertainment’ available, such as poker machines, horse, dog and harness racing, sports betting or in casinos – online and off. Suffice to say, we have an enormously large number of gamblers in the world. And to think we have a problem with global poverty.
American actor Jim Carrey has been quoted as saying; “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer.”
He has a good point. Why are so many hundreds of millions of people so determined, if not fixated on winning something for nothing (or very little)? Are people convinced that money will be the answer to their problems? We know the well-known phrase, money can’t buy happiness, but it doesn’t seem to stop people from trying, despite gambling being an irrational hope.
So why then do those who have already won lotto continue to buy tickets?
An astonishing fact is that 90% of winners continue to buy tickets even after they’ve won. Surely hearing this should indicate that more money isn’t the answer.
Many of us know this, but realising this in practice may take years, if at all; and it may not ever be believed by those who want to believe in this way of turning life around. For many, their belief in ‘luck’ is something to grab a hold of and never let go. It is not hard to imagine arguments of how they dare to say that this is not it; “Give me the money and I will show you otherwise”. Playing the lottery is one gigantic distraction that relies heavily on images, ideals and beliefs circulating about money that people buy into of what a magnificent life looks like from the outside.
There is also the possibility people want to win so as not to take responsibility for building things in life from the foundations up, or by working honestly for your money. We already have the concept of ‘dirty money’ – money that comes from a dubious source such as selling drugs. Do we ever consider that winning the lottery is also dirty money? Is it not a pool of money that is there because of people’s greed, need, irresponsibility or lack of commitment? Why would we want that being the source of our home, our car or our clothes?
Lottery is a possible way to ‘change our life’. It is very enticing because it is fast and almost cost free and people do truly want to enrich their lives. But, of course, this is a bastardised version of what enriching life is all about, and of how to go about it.
What seems to be the real issue here is that people don’t seem to know what will deliver true joy or deep settlement.
Living like a leaky bottle where there is always an outgoing that no amount of filling up will ever or can ever do so permanently is so very common these days. In fact, it has become normal. People are over-eating, over-drinking, over-spending, over-drugging and over-entertaining in order to try and find the thing that will fill themselves up for good, to plug the ‘leakages’. But it isn’t working.
And so a ‘less harmful’ pursuit might seem to be playing the lottery. ‘It’s just some harmless fun.’ ‘How is it hurting anyone if I buy one little ticket every so often?’ ‘I don’t need millions, just a few thousand would be enough for me...’
Unfortunately though, having a sense that money buys our way out of the humdrum of life is but a filler, just as many other things are fillers. We have manufactured a society where materialism and greed is lived more than truth and reason. The (temporary) happiness and comfort that money can buy is preferred over seeking a life of honest work and simple enrichment. And the current endemic global conditions of increasing diseases, illnesses and mental health issues don’t seem to have led to people connecting the dots; if anything, our declining health is reflecting the permanent sense of unease so that many are dreaming winning the lottery will be their way out.
And so, is there another way out? Can the leaky bottle ever be plugged up for good? That is, is there an answer to our question of what delivers true joy and deep settlement? A short but firm yes – to all three questions.
And it is actually very, very simple. It’s love.
I was one of those irregular lottery players, enticed by the massive jackpots a few times a year. I once spent an entire three-hour car trip ‘spending’ my lottery winnings in my head and thinking I was being very reasonable and philanthropic in the way I was going to spend my win.
But it was through unravelling what the important things in life actually are, understanding that we are energetic beings living in a world of energy, and becoming aware how it is that we are pulled to behave in certain ways, that changed things for me.
Nowadays there is not even a flicker of interest when I see those multi-million dollar jackpots offered as the richness I feel inside because I know who I am has severed the attraction. We do deep down know winning the lottery will never, ever deliver true joy or settlement, no matter the amount won. It may seem like the void or emptiness is filled momentarily, but in time even more despondency is created when it is realised the money isn’t truly 'full-filling'.
What we do need is to become rich another way, just not with dollars and cents.
The greatest wealth is the richness of your heart.Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations Volume II, ed 1, p 377
The greatest richness is the wealth of your heart.