Lottery Madness

Here in the United States, we have lost our mind over the projected $1.3 billion prize that is Powerball.

One of my all time favorite artists, Vincent Van Gogh, created this piece in 1882, entitled “The State Lottery Office.”


From the website…, these words:

“What is particularly evident in this painting is the suggestion that the group of huddled people milling around the lottery office could have spent their last pennies in a vain hope of winning. The figures are bowed and shuffling, and rather than a scene of expectant excitement, it is one of despondency.”

We have all heard the horror stories surrounding lottery winners. Families are torn apart, folks are harassed by friends, strangers, charities, etc. for a piece of their good fortune.

Drug addiction, divorce, bankruptcy, hospitalizations, even homicide have figured into the picture.

Why ?

Could it be that folks were unprepared for sudden wealth; did not have the education or means to manage the sudden windfall ?

Were these folks who were down on their luck, looking for a way out of situations that could never be solved with financial gain ?

Is it simpler than that ?

Is there something just wrong about acquiring wealth that was not earned ?

Lots of questions. Not so sure about the answers.









This entry was posted in Art, Education, Random Thoughts and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to Lottery Madness

  1. I don’t know the answers, but I’d sure like to find out by winning the lottery myself. I’m pretty sure I could handle the sudden wealth.

  2. Judy Martin says:

    We have got a huge lottery rollover in the UK too. There have been similar stories with previous lottery winners not being able to handle their wealth. I don’t know what the answers are either Van, For some people, maybe having lots of money will help them have a better life, for others nothing will ever be enough!

  3. I suppose we need to research who buys the tickets. Is it worth it?

  4. I read once that most winners are broke again within a year. If you’re meant to be rich, you’d be rich, so to speak. Thought-provoking questions Van!<3
    Diana xo

  5. Nurse Kelly says:

    I let my son buy a ticket a couple of days ago, as a matter of fact, for the first time. We didn’t even watch the drawing or know anything about it, because we were so caught up in a football game last night. Just heard there was no winner and now it’s at the 1.3 billion dollar number you just mentioned. I’ll have to look into this rolling over stuff now – don’t know what that is or how to do it, but I guess I should! Would definitely give most of it away to do good in the world. Can you imagine the tax on it?!

  6. C.E.Robinson says:

    Van, my sentiments exactly! I’m not a gambler, never have been. Not that I wouldn’t like a small windfall. Or that with big money I could donate to many charities! But chances of winning are so very slim. Reality is driving me never to buy a lottery ticket. Chryssa

  7. cindy knoke says:

    Oh the painting is amazing and I never have seen it!

    • The alternate title he used was “Money and the Poor”. He seemed fascinated with regular people of his day. I have prints of some of his peasant field workers…they speak to me somehow.

  8. George says:

    Greed is a tough partner to have at your side. It distorts your ability to reason and places you in unfamiliar situations. We all dream of winning the lottery but most of those that do have no idea what that means to their lives. Very sad.

  9. Hmm! Thought provoking. Sometimes, poverty mentality goes beyond the surface of not having money in the pocket. For some people, they are so impoverished in their minds that no amount of wealth can bring them peace so they simply go back to the cycle of grunginess because they least expected such wealth. I wish I knew the answer.

  10. Val Boyko says:

    There has been some research into lottery winners. There is so much stress that comes with a large amount of money … including fear of losing it and being taken for a ride. It is not the answer to finding happiness that’s for sure!

  11. I’d just as soon throw 2 dollars out the window than spend them on the lottery.

  12. I’ve always opposed lotteries. They disproportionately tax the poor.

  13. It is very interesting how everyone things money will make things better but in fact if you are having a bad time that surely will not help! nice post Van

  14. roweeee says:

    I think part of the problem is that these people think money is the answer. Perhaps, they buy a bigger house or car and move away from their community and the other riches that offers. If you have been poor for a long time, I could see how easy it would be to spend even quite a large about of money just to catch up…house, car, fridge, TV. If everything in your life and holding together with safety pins…
    I also think you need money management skills to manage that money. If you are used to spending more than you earn, you have no idea how to manage any money not matter how big the pile. I’m not great at managing my money so I set limits.
    Very interesting topic though. Thanks for bringing it up Van and the painting was great too.
    xx Rowena

  15. We bought one ticket yesterday and then on a long car ride talked about how we would spend the money. When we arrived at our destination we realized that the entire conversation was actually about how we would give it away. We smiled at each other with the knowledge that we already have everything we truly need 🙂 It was a great day.

  16. joey says:

    We bought a ticket this week. We rarely buy one. I like to see big lottery winnings go to a multitude of people, because then I know more lives are affected.
    I think we all have lists of things we’d do and people and causes we’d help. Imagine that amount of money being given to any one cause…
    The amount of money that stands to be won is what I would consider a dangerous amount, but nonetheless, we still have a list 🙂
    I would think a team of financial planners would come right after paying off the house 😉
    I can’t say we’d live differently, but we’d certainly take more summer vacations, haha!

  17. Amy says:

    I’ve always had that same feeling about the lottery. There is something kind of sad about it, for those who win and for those who don’t. I know I would be ill-equipped to handle the winnings and therefore don’t buy the tickets.

  18. The only answer I have Van, is to never allow the Lottery Jackpot go beyond a million pounds/dollars. Okay, it can still ruin people’s lives, but I think the odds of that happen may be slimmer with a smaller jackpot. By having a smaller jackpot the organisers can then increase the prizes for people that match less numbers, or give even more to charity.

  19. See, this is why I just sit around ambition free playing games and eating chocolate- no risk of all these terrible things money brings you!

  20. I find it interesting that while the States has this going on the UK also has just had their largest ever lottery jackpot, the odds of that happening must be about the same odds of actually winning the damn thing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s