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The Dark Underbelly of Lottery

Lottery is an ancient form of gambling, in which a prize is given away by chance. It was a common way to award property, slaves and even political offices in the Low Countries, as well as a means for distributing land in the United States in colonial days. Today, states sell tickets to raise money for things like schools, roads and bridges. It is the most popular form of gambling in the world, with people spending upward of $100 billion on tickets each year.

Many states promote their lotteries by saying that they are not a tax and they are just about the best way to raise revenue for things like children’s education. But that claim is based on a misconception. It ignores how little lottery revenue is actually generated in the broader context of state budgets and the fact that the taxes people pay for tickets do more harm than good to society.

In addition, lotteries have a dark underbelly. They encourage people to covet wealth and the things that money can buy. This is a sin that Scripture forbids, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, his wife, his male or female servant, his ox or sheep, or anything that is his.”

It also deceives people into thinking they can solve their problems by buying a ticket and hoping to win the jackpot. But most people who play the lottery are not wealthy, and they know that they have a very small chance of winning. They are chasing a dream that is never going to come true.