I didn’t intend to write on this subject today, but I had to. Lottery fever reached an all-time high this week, and I’m sorry to say that I just wasn’t interested. The old sales pitch goes, “You can’t win if you don’t play.” Good, because I wouldn’t win the lottery for a million bucks.
Wait a minute. Scratch that. I’d take a million, just to make things a little more comfortable. But these ridiculous jackpots that are out there now? Nope. No thanks. I’ll stay broke. Since I don’t have my choice to win “just” a million, I don’t play at all.
What sends us to the tickets machines is the age-old belief (again) that money is going to make us happy. I shot that thought down in a recent blog. The abuse of money is all over social media and television. Do I look? Yes. It’s like the car accident scenario. And I read Celebrity Net Worth. Because what people do with their big bank accounts is an area of high interest to me. I’m disgusted by some of the things I see and enlightened by others. Boxers, poker players, celebs, reality TV stars, visionaries, and entrepreneurs post their exploits all over Facebook and Instagram. Some of them are, literally, exploits. Why is it that when certain individuals acquire money they think it’s okay to pose with fifteen half naked women, brag about the island they own, or open a strip club? Personally, the things they do to prove their “richness” doesn’t look like all that much fun. In fact, I have to question the self-esteem of anyone who has to screw with others to have a good time. Which means that I have to question the self-esteem of those who aspire to be them.
At the same time, I have a lot more respect for people who make their own fortunes. Is there anything worse than watching a heiress pretending that she actually had something to do with her wealth? Kind of like someone who suddenly has a whole bunch of cash on their hands from buying a ticket. I dare you to look up and read about what the lottery really does to the folks who win. Many of them go broke. All of them have a lot more friends than they started with. Who needs that? Even if you’re in one of those states that you don’t have to publicize your win, someone is going to find out. And when it comes to moola, word carries fast. I’ve never seen people act as crazy as they do when it comes to money. It’s like a magic elixir for bad behavior. Thanks, I like my life of having a few real friends and working hard for what I have. Meaning: the way it is.
One lottery article I read recently stated that the winner of the next Mega Millions jackpot will have a net worth larger than Taylor Swift. Now, I’m not a big fan of her, but I have to say that I’m not wild about this concept, because she has a lot more talent and biz smarts than the average Joe, and way more of that than the average lottery winner. She, and people who make their own fortunes, have the benefit of knowing what it’s like to NOT be rich, and as their bank accounts get bigger they adjust to it accordingly. It’s a lot healthier than that ticket buyer having nothing one minute and the world at their feet the next. Maybe I’m nuts, but I wouldn’t be comfortable having nothing to work for anymore. Struggle makes things interesting. And I’ll say it again, the nicest, most generous human beings I’ve ever met in the world have been the poorest, without fault.
In conclusion, may I also point out some very sad facts. Billions of dollars didn’t save neither Steve Jobs nor Paul Allen from passing away from cancer. Houses and cars don’t make people happy in the long run. Just because the outside has the trimmings of perceived happiness doesn’t mean the inside is feeling it. And that’s where it really matters. Not some colorful little balls floating around in a box and causing the citizens of America to have sweaty palms.
Peace be with the unfortunate individual in South Carolina who holds the winning ticket this morning. Better you than me.