Get High on Life

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 29, 1998

By Harold Keller / L’Observateur / July 29, 1998

Last week, I was talking on the phone to a pretty successful salesman who happens to be a Christian and, at the same time, seemed to be very frustrated. After a few minutes into the conversation, I said, “Sounds likeyou would like to get away from it all.” He laughed and jokingly (I think)said, “I’ve never played the lottery but I think I’m going to go out and buy two Powerball tickets. If I win, I’ll quit my job, move away from here, andhave it made.”Powerball fever! It’s here! It’s real, and it’s stupid! I realize stupid is not a nice word, but that’s the only word, in my opinion, that describes this sickness.

Wednesday night, the winning ticket, if one is sold, will be worth $250 million. I understand that the odds are about 1 in 80 or 100 million. Theonly thing I know for sure is that I won’t win. The reason being is that I’venever played the lottery and never will.

Can you imagine someone with $250 million? I don’t know about you, but it sounds scary to me. I’ve gotten into enough trouble with money. I’d hate tothink of someone like me winning $250 million.

What makes people gamble on a 1 in 80 or 100 million chance of winning? The answer is the greed factor. “Bigger is better,” said one official of theMulti-State Lottery Association. One headline in the Monday morning papersaid: “Wildest Dreams Running Rampant.”With only 19 states participating in the multi-state lottery, many people have to cross state lines to buy a ticket. In New York and New Jersey,where tickets are not sold, people going to Connecticut had traffic backed up on the interstate for hours. One young waiter from New York bought3,000 tickets with money he had saved to go to college. “If I win, I can buya college,” he jokingly said.

Sounds crazy? It is, but you don’t have to go to Connecticut to experience the frenzy Powerball fever. Just go to any local business that sellstickets, especially fast-food outlets that sell lottery tickets. People fromall walks of life getting into line, exchanging hard-earned money for a chance to hit the jackpot, hoping their dream of being rich will come true.

I feel sorry for them as they stand in line hoping and praying that this could be the winning ticket.

It saddens me to think of all the people who anxiously play, hoping to solve all their problems. One publishing company owner expects thePowerball to propel sales of her lottery book and software which sells for up to $79.95 to help players (she says) have a better chance of winning.However, she also says, “If this is your time, God will pick you,” and added, “It’s just luck.”I can’t relate to her god, but I understand mine, and He’s not about luck.

The God I know blesses His faithful children, and that’s no gamble.

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

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