Opinion

Chasing Powerball pot of gold is as human as declaring bankruptcy

With temperatures in the ‘ville soaring into the upper teens, it is but one example of the nation turning up the heat on tonight’s Powerball drawing.

The current estimated jackpot is $550 million with a $347.9 million cash value.  That’s a lot of peanuts at the ballpark.

I bought some tickets. I think I did so only because the jackpot is so high. The rationalist in me says there is no way I would be interested in something like a measly $40,000,000 Mega Millions jackpot since it is so low, comparatively-speaking. On the other hand, the Powerball being $550 million motivated me to use one of the self-service kiosks for the first time (instead of forking dollars in person over to a clerk).

Nobody cares about the horror stories of many past lottery jackpot winners when deciding to plunk down their hard-earned cash on a batch of tickets.

Nobody cares about if they’re miserable before they win and that they’ll most likely continue to be after collecting, too—money can’t buy happiness but it sure buys a lot of neat stuff.

But how much neat stuff does someone really need?

The answer to that is it depends on a lot of things.

First, you have to define “neat stuff.”

To me, neat stuff would be helping out family members first and foremost. Then, friends in need would be next in line for sharing more of my good fortune.

But all that is speculation as I truly won’t know what I’ll do until I win. One thing I do know, is should I “hit,” I’ll have more new friends than I’ll know what to do with.

English: Synopsis of Maui Nui submergence hist...

English: Synopsis of Maui Nui submergence history, showing extent of Maui Nui landmass at times indicated. “Ma” is abbreviation for mega-annums, millions of years ago. Light and dark shading shows extent of land during low and high sea stands of glacial cycles. Panel labeled “Recent” represents latest glacial cycle, and the low sea stand for that period occurred about 18,000 years ago. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You’ve got to be in it to win it

I guess just being involved in a potential gold rush of sorts with the rest of the general population is kind of fun.

I’m simultaneously conflicted, however. I believe since I don’t need an expensive operation I can’t afford in order to save my life, there really is no reason for me to play in a lottery of any kind—millions of dollars, automobiles or vacation trips at stake notwithstanding.

What I need is to be able to do what I’m already doing—living within my means and paying bills in a timely fashion in order to avoid the poor house.

Good health helps to keep from wanting.

But so does being low maintenance.

Many good deeds do not require an excess or abundance of money.

Most only require conscionable action, creativity and a desire to help somebody, some group or something, that needs help.

Lotteries like Powerball and Mega Millions play to the human fallacy that suggests once we have all the money we need, only then can we truly find purpose and meaning in life—the thought being once we’re no longer chasing a buck via a paycheck, we can grow into and become who we’re really meant to be.

That’s a lot of presupposition and a leap of faith if you ask me.

Having more money than one needs does present its own set of problems.

Like millions of others, however, these are consequences that could arise that I’m willing to take a chance on dealing with it.

If I win, I think I’ll need a driver to start off.

But if you win, I can be your driver. Just like articles here can help you escape, if I’m your driver, I’ll take you to places you’d like to escape to that you haven’t visited before.

Whatever.

Good luck to us all.

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