When the lottery hits a jackpot, many Americans dream that winning a few million dollars will solve all their problems. However, the truth is that most people who win the lottery go broke within a few years. In addition, those who play the lottery often waste their money on things that are not essential to their survival, like luxury cars and homes. The Bible teaches that we ought to work hard and earn our wealth, instead of wasting it on a risky get-rich-quick scheme.
In the village in Jackson’s story, the lottery is a ritual that selects a family to stone to death. The people believe that it will ensure that the next harvest will be bountiful. They quote a local proverb: “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” (Jackson 234).
Although the ritual is inhumane, villagers are too invested in it to abandon it. Similarly, state lottery commissions exploit the psychology of addiction to keep people playing their games. Everything from the advertising campaigns to the design of tickets is designed to make a person feel as if they’re hooked on the game.
When politicians find it difficult to convince voters to pay for necessary services by raising taxes, they turn to the lottery as a silver bullet. Lottery advocates claim that it will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars a year, thereby relieving them of the need to consider raising sales or income tax rates. But Cohen notes that lottery revenues are volatile, increasing as incomes fall and poverty rates rise. And he adds that lottery ads are most heavily promoted in neighborhoods that are disproportionately poor, black, or Latino.