There’s a madness going on across the country as I write this. In 43 states (plus the U.S. Virgin Islands), for the cost of a $1.00 ticket, people are purchasing a chance to win $640 million dollars – or a portion thereof. A CHANCE, not a guarantee to win, a CHANCE. Foolishness, if you ask me. But, tune into the local or national news, log on to Facebook, or turn on your cell phone to check your tweets on Twitter, and the #1 topic of conversation is, “did you buy your ticket?”, “what would you do if you won that much money?”, or the pleas from those who are not buying tickets to be remembered by the friends who are buying tickets – you know, just in case they win.
I call it foolishness because while there is the potential that SOMEONE (or a group of someones who have pooled their money together so that they can have access to a larger number of potential winning tickets) will win the money – the greater reality is that NO ONE will win, and we will start the foolishness all over again, for a larger jackpot, on tomorrow evening. I mean, the jackpot didn’t grow to $640 million with winners along the way – it grew that large because NO ONE has won it in a while. I will make a confession here – when the lottery hits the $200 million dollar mark, I usually buy a ticket or two, but with the full knowledge that my purchase more than likely will be a donation to my state’s education program (the Hope scholarship) as opposed to a life-changing windfall into my personal bank account.
And don’t get it twisted, THAT MUCH MONEY – yeah, it will change your life, your family’s life, your friends’ lives, the people who want to be your new best friends’ lives, and on and on and on. People will look at you differently – “relatives” you never knew about will crawl out from under every rock in your garden – people will want to help you spend, invest, and waste your newfound fortune – and just for the record, you will become your own worst enemy because unfortunately, the reality is: if you don’t know how to handle the few hundreds of dollars that flow through your hands twice a month (if you are blessed to be working), you truly ain’t gonna know how to handle $640 million dollars if it were to come your way. We have all heard the stories of the millionaires who are broke in a year because they didn’t know how to manage the funds they were “blessed” with.
I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but I am a realist. The cold hard facts are that money is not the great equalizer we all seem to think it is – in reality, it can be a curse more than a blessing. I am convinced that one reason God didn’t/hasn’t blessed me with great fame, wealth and fortune is that I might not be able to handle it in a way that adequately represents Him and His character. I am already enough of a “don’t worry, I got this” kind of girl – and that is on a Kool-Aid and soda budget. Can you imagine how off the hook I might become if I had a champagne and caviar kind of budget? Yeah, I am sure that is why God is keeping me humble, and I thank Him for it.
For the record, I am not condemning anyone who buys a ticket for tonight’s drawing. It is my prayer that God’s will be done. If one of my friends wins, I will be happy for them and will strive my best not to treat them any differently than I treat them now. (Which means, if I ain’t never asked you for money to help me pay my rent, don’t expect me to come to you now with hand out asking for help. Not gonna happen.) And if you don’t win, I’ma still love you the same way as I do now.
Thanks and be blessed.
© 2012 Kristina E. Smith