Treasure hunting is, perhaps, one of the most thrilling experiences. Thorough historical research, careful planning, logistics, gathering a team, and excavations can result either in brilliant success, or colossal failure. History knows thousands of examples of both; moreover, mass insanity on this basis has not been rare. For an example, it is enough to take a look at the Gold Rush in the United States, myths about Eldorado, and so on. In the 20th century, it has gained a more civilized manifestation in the form of state lotteries. And though lotteries can make a few people rich, in fact they can inflict serious damage both to a state’s economy and to one’s personality.
The first and foremost reason against state lotteries is that they harm national economies. For example, in the United States, only in the year 2009, more than $50 billion was spent to print state lottery tickets, set video kiosks, and on other preparations. From this total, in 2010, the most part of this money was wasted on the commissions for stores selling these tickets and prizes; the government received only $17.9 billion, which broke down to 30 percent in profits and 8 percent in administrative costs (Salon). In addition, lotteries can be seen as a hidden form of taxing; in 2009, 11 American state lotteries raised more money per person than corporate income taxes (Johnston).
Though people usually tend to see lotteries as a panacea against their unsatisfactory financial condition, in fact lotteries cannot save one from poverty or going bankrupt. In 2007, one out three lottery winners experienced severe financial problems within about five years, and even lost all their capital (Consumerist). One of the main reasons standing behind this phenomenon is that despite suddenly gaining vast amounts of money, people do not revise their financial habits; moreover, rather often lottery winners spend money less carefully than they used to do before winning.
In addition, participating in lotteries may quickly become a form of gambling addiction. Gambling implies playing a game that has uncertain outcomes with an intention to win or lose capital (financial, property, and so on). A lottery, by all means, is a game of uncertain outcomes, in which its participants win prizes or lose money (Phil For Humanity). Both can become an addiction, which can manifest itself in a desire of an immediate recoup after losing, regular bidding, or in terminal cases, even mortgaging property and taking huge loans to pay for the addiction.
Lotteries, despite their seeming safety and innocence, are treacherous and dangerous. They are harmful for national economies and is a hidden form of tax, which even poor people pay eagerly in their hope to get rich in no time. Lotteries contribute to people going bankrupt within about five years after winning, because people usually do not change their financial habits and tend to spend the suddenly-awarded money carelessly. Besides, lotteries can be seen as a form of gambling, and thus participating in lotteries can easily become a potent addiction. Therefore, lotteries can hardly be considered a beneficial affair.
Rosenfeld, Steven. “10 Reasons State Lotteries Ruin the Economy.” Salon. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <http://www.salon.com/2013/04/15/10_reasons_state_lotteries_ruin_the_economy_partner/>.
“1 in 3 Lottery Winners Broke Within 5 Years.” Consumerist. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <http://consumerist.com/2007/10/29/1-in-3-lottery-winners-broke-within-5-years/>.
Johnston, David Cay. “U.S. Lotteries and the State Taxman.” Reuters. N.p., 15 July 2011. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <http://blogs.reuters.com/david-cay-johnston/2011/07/15/u-s-lotteries-and-the-state-taxman/>.
“The Lottery is Gambling.” Phil for Humanity. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <http://www.philforhumanity.com/The_Lottery_is_Gambling.html>.
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