We've been having this debate in our Varney editorial meetings the past few days:
"Is it a waste of a dollar to play the lottery?"
"Is it just a regressive tax used by states to fund budget shortfalls?"
"Why does every winner seem to end up wasting the money?"
"Would private industry make the lottery more efficient?"
All valid arguments. All taken into consideration.
What playing the lottery comes down to is dreaming.
People wait in line to buy a ticket not to win money, but to dream about what they would do with the money if they won. Hope.
Imagine the conversations happening the lines… a big yacht, a big mansion or a college education for the extended family. Maybe pay off debt… For the generous - maybe it's donations. Maybe a golden toilet seat. (I would do all of the above.)
I had the same conversations with Varney staff today.
But joking aside - it really is all about the dream - the American Dream.
Handouts aside, I think the idea of America, and our hope for a future, is why they wait in line.
It's the exact reason why people just like my ancestors decided to come to this great country as immigrants.
A dream of a better future. Maybe a place where we can provide for our families, streets paved in gold.
All of us can buy a lottery ticket. Okay. But we can also motivate people to get back to work. Yes, you might have to take a job that may be below your standards. But tell that story of how you took a Mickey D's job in your next interview and you will make a mark.
And that is how America will continue to be great. Hard work. Sacrifice. And every now and again some pain.
Show the true spirt of America. Yes, it is okay to wait in line to buy a stupid lottery ticket. But don't wait for anyone, including the government, to give you a helping hand. Help yourself.
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But, I like to dream. So I bought a few tickets, but I didn't wait in line.
I mean a half a BILLON dollars. Granted, cut it in half, you're still on easy street.
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