The lottery is a complete waste of money
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
Is there a bigger waste of money than spending it on the lottery every week? I don’t think so. However, to many Canadians, spending a few bucks on a ticket every week isn’t a waste—it’s a chance to get rich quick or to achieve long-term financial sustainability. It’s unfortunate that so many people bet on winning as their only way to make some money but spending $10 to $20 every week to do so makes no sense.
It seems contradictory that people spend so much money to win it back big time, but that doesn’t stop them from doing it. As reported by CBC News, approximately one quarter of Canadians play the lotto every week. Furthermore, about 34 percent of Canadians (41 percent of British Columbians) plan on winning to pay for their retirement. A depressing stat, considering the unlikelihood of ever winning.
We’ve all heard the statistics and odds of your scratch ticket being the million-dollar winner, so it doesn’t bear repeating. To me, it makes more sense to take any money you would spend on the lottery and save it. If you took the five bucks or whatever it is that you spend on the jackpot ticket weekly and saved it all, in a year you would have $260. That doesn’t seem like much at first, but after five years you would have $1300, not counting interest. This is money that people could be putting towards college funds or retirement, but instead it goes toward a pipe dream and ultimately down the drain.
But people do win sometimes, you might be telling yourself. Yes, some have won millions in the lottery. However, when you do some research into some of the people who had winning tickets, their lives aren’t better for it. They blow it all on more gambling or investments that never pay off. Some even become homeless because of it. These examples suggest that to many people, winning the lottery is a nightmare, not a dream come true.
The lotto, to me, is a depressing activity that should have been phased out long ago. I think it’s a testament to how desperate people are to escape poverty or their low-income jobs. They would gladly spend their hard-earned cash every week to have a microscopic chance at winning a fortune. That’s without even getting into the horrors of casinos and other exploitative gambling corporations that profit off of low-income desperation or gambling addictions.
If you really want to make or save money, giving it to the lotto is the last thing you want to do. You might as well throw it away. Even in the miniscule chance that you do win, it might not be the dream you thought it would be.