The following is a short article from The Hamilton Spectator on Saturday, June 6, 2009.
A-year-old rancher whose family has fallen behind in its taxes and recently had a mobile home repossessed, claimed a $ million Powerball jackpot yesterday, one of the largest single jackpot in the U.S. lottery history … He will take home $ in a lump sum payment after taxes are deducted. … “I want to thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity and blessing me with the great fortune. I will not squander it,” he said. Wanless [the lottery winner] said he intends to use the money to help those in need. “My family has been helped by the community and I intend to repay that help many times over.”
The Poor and Lottery Tickets: My Reactions
- Why is someone who has fallen behind on taxes and recently lost a mobile home buying lottery tickets? Unfortunately, this is not unusual. See Poor, unemployed buying hope in lottery tickets? The poor see this as the only way out of their predicament. Perhaps they think one in a million is a better chance than their perceived zero in a million opportunity.
- How many people really play the lottery with the hopes of winning it big? In this MSN article it is reported that 40% of Americans with a salary between $ and $ and 50% with incomes between $ and $ thought winning the lottery would give them their retirement nest egg. Who Plays Lotteries says 57% of Americans have purchased a lottery ticket in the last months.
- Of the $ million, million goes towards taxes. Ouch!
- While I hope Wanless keeps his promise that he will not squander it, statistics speak against his chances to successfully fulfill his promises. Here is another MSN Money article that introduces us to 8 lottery winners who lost their millions.
Photo by pedrosimoes7.
The Bible on Lottery and Gambling
Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow. (Proverbs 13:11, NIV)
Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. (Matthew 25:28-29, NIV)
When one acquires money slowly they simultaneously learn how to properly manage what they have. Those lessons learned allow them to better oversee what they have been entrusted with. This typically leads to an increase. When one receives a surge of money in a different way (lottery) they have often not learned the financial management skills necessary. The unfortunate result is often a return to ones previous financial condition.
Mr. Wanless, I wish you all the best. Want an unsolicited suggestion? Put the money in the bank for one year and surround yourself with people who have money management skills. Otherwise, there are likely more repossessions in your future.
Yesterday I answered the question, is money the solution to poverty? I think this post supports those conclusions.