Why I No Longer Want to Win the Lottery


            I thought it through and concluded that a large sum of money is not the desirable end that it seems. John Steinbeck said the same thing in a much more eloquent way in The Pearl, but like most of us, I have been disregarding his vision. One of the things I learned by reading literature is that it is a collective attempt to rewrite the Bible, but once again, I have let the efforts of a talented group of writers bounce off my opaque mind.

          If I would win, the first thing that would happen is I would get into an argument with my wife about what to do with the fortune. For example, she would want to pay off the mortgages of close relatives, whereas I would try to persuade her to do that only in the future using interest in order to safeguard the capital.

          The most worrisome thing is that winning becomes public knowledge, which means that charities and thugs alike will want their share. The last thing I would want is my children to be victims of home invaders or kidnappers. With my luck there is a real possibility of that happening.

          Then there will be a temptation to retire early, which is another common dream that we should question a little more critically. Work is not everything, but it sure has its place in the psyche and society. It keeps us focused, and when we do it well, it does help out others. I sometimes think that I could go back to school, but learning only makes sense if you can apply it later, which would mean going back to work anyway. It took a long time to find a comfort-competence zone. What would guarantee that I could get there again? 

          In a nutshell, a pot of gold would be a little better if I had nobody to argue with, no children and no enjoyable career. But since money cannot buy any of those desirable ends, winning the lottery might not help any one else either.