Who deserves it more?

Money makes people do (and think) some crazy things. Whether it is buying a lottery ticket in the office pool or heading to a casino to play a game of chance, deep down everybody thinks they will be a winner – and that they really, really, really deserve it.

How many times have we heard people say that? “I’ve been down on my luck and down to my last dollar but I bought a lottery ticket and won millions.” My first reaction is always, If you were that strapped for cash, why is your first thought to throw away the money by gambling? But I’m not in that position so I can’t say how I would react myself.

Nevertheless, everybody has their justification about why they need to hold the winning ticket. Of course it makes for a good news story when someone triumphs because they just lost their job or they recently overcame adversity. How boring is it to hear: Millionaire wins even more money. It’s not fascinating at that point. If anything, the public resents that person for having more.

And that brings me to the bitterness of it all. If the winner has a sad story people tend to think it’s OK that he or she won my money. It should have been my jackpot, but I’ll let him have it. How about if that person is new to the country?

It’s happened a few times where I have overheard people griping about someone just coming to Canada, buying a lottery ticket and within weeks their life is changed because they won a jackpot. It’s common to think some immigrant comes to our land and sweeps our prize money so shame on them, right? A true Canadian deserves to win that money. (Remember, I’m not using these as my own personal views, rather what some people have as their own viewpoints. I don’t play the lottery or gamble.)

At the end of the day, the dozens of ping pong balls jumping and bopping around in a machine don’t care who takes the prize. We want so bad for the money to be ours that we look for anyone or anything to blame when it doesn’t happen to us.

I do have to share one story from someone I chatted with in a store. He said he won’t buy a lottery ticket unless the jackpot is over $20 million. Why? “It’s not worth it if it’s anything less,” he said. That’s right, folks. Spending the few bucks for a potentially multi-million dollar payoff is chump change and not worth the time. I should point out the commenter was not wealthy by any means but clearly a snob when it comes to winning money.

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