Lottery Winners May End Up Spending More Than They Won


Whether they’re buying a luxury home world or closing all debts, lottery winners are likely to spend their prize money. But they might be in for an unpleasant surprise. As this article in HuffPost explains, those who win large jackpots often have a hard time managing the financial responsibility of their winnings and end up spending more than they’ve won.

The odds of winning the lottery are slim. There’s a much better chance of getting struck by lightning or becoming a celebrity than winning the lottery. But despite these facts, lotteries continue to lure players in droves, particularly those from lower income levels. In fact, studies have shown that those in the bottom quintile of earners play the lottery more than any other group. And it’s not surprising why: Studies show that lottery playing skews regressive—that is, it drains the pockets of those who can least afford to do so.

So what’s behind this phenomenon? One reason is that people buy into the lottery’s glitzy advertising and promises of instant riches. And there are many ways that lottery marketers lure players, including by displaying high-stakes jackpots on billboards and social media. But there’s a hidden cost to lottery marketing: It encourages people to see wealth as something that can be gained without working hard. The Bible, on the other hand, calls us to steward our earnings wisely and not depend on luck or fortune. Instead, we should rely on God’s promise that “diligent hands bring wealth” (Proverbs 24:4).