January 11th, 2020| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


Gloria C. MacKenzie, an 84-year-old Florida widow, won the $590 million Powerball lottery in 2013. The odds of her winning it was 1 in 175 million.

Robert Williams, a professor of health sciences at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, who studies lotteries, noted:

People just aren’t able to grasp 1 in 175 million. It’s just beyond our experience—we have nothing in our evolutionary history that prepares us or primes us, no intellectual architecture, to try and grasp the remoteness of those odds.”

And so we continue to play. And play. And play. In that lottery won by MacKenzie, people in 43 states bought a total of 232 million Powerball tickets.

In the last 12 months, about 57 percent of Americans bought tickets in the last 12 months. In a 2012 calculation, US lottery sales came to $78 billion just for that year.

Maybe it’s because, as one trademarked lottery slogan goes, “Hey, you never know”? Hey, somebody has to win. But hundreds of millions of people play a game they will never win, a game with serious social consequences, suspending ice-cold logic and suppressing overwhelming odds.

Rebecca Paul Hargrove, president of the Tennessee Education State Lottery Corporation, is a lottery legend who constructed the multibillion-dollar Georgia and Florida lotteries from scratch. This lady has an intuitive understanding of what drives her customers to play the game:

If you made a logical investment choice, you’d play a different game. But the lottery is not an investment. It’s entertainment. For a very small amount of money you might change your life. For $2 you can spend the day dreaming about what you would do with half a billion dollars—half a billion dollars!”

She explains, autobiographically:

I played the lotto when I was caught up in the frenzy of a $40 million jackpot. And I thought, ‘What made me play?’ What made me play was the thought of what I would do with $40 million. You pay $1 and then for three days you can think about that question. Would I share with my brother-in-law? No! I don’t like that brother-in-law. But I would share with my neighbor’s nephew.”

Hargrove also pushed for larger, attention grabbing jackpots.

The more the jackpot is, the more tickets you sell. It feeds the dreaming.”

The largest jackpot of them all, without a doubt, is heaven, an eternal dwelling, in the presence of God.

For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.
Hebrews 13:14

But to get there one needs no lottery ticket. In fact, salvation for heaven doesn’t even cost a penny. It is free. A gift.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:8

No need for lotteries. No need for dreams. No need for worry. For Jesus said:

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you;
… I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
John 14:1–3

And one day …

… the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, … and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up … to meet the Lord in the air,
and so we shall always be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:16–17




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