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Lotto: A Dream That Won't Come True

Updated on December 12, 2017
William F. Torpey profile image

Graduated NYU in 1964. Worked in NYC for 2 years in public relations then as reporter and editor before retiring from The Hour newspaper.

Hoping To Be a Lottery Winner!


Off Track Betting Parlor

Now that the hoopla surrounding the $195 million Powerball drawing has faded, perhaps we can put aside our temporary insanity awhile and venture back to the real world.

We in the Nutmeg state have been among the pioneers of legal, widespread gambling.

But it was politically popular during the last few decades to oppose the extension of gambling in Connecticut. Despite that, we offer any number of forms of betting today, including two jai alai frontons, two dog tracks and innumerable Off Track Betting parlors.

We've come a long way, baby, from the days Connecticut was well-known for its Blue Laws! In those days, only a few decades ago, legal gambling was virtually nonexistent here.

Very little business was transacted on Sundays, when only a handful of stores were open for business.

We often humor ourselves these days by coughing up a dollar or two for Lotto tickets -- and for some people, a lot more -- understanding it to be "a shot in the dark."

Some of our neighbors, however, are childlike in their gullibility -- unthinking dreamers who buy the notion that all their problems could be solved if only they could get lucky.

Unfortunately, many spend more money than they can afford, buying a pig in a poke.

Sure, there's a winner, but at what cost? Millions have their dreams shattered once-a-week at least, and government should hang its ugly head in shame!

The recent Powerball jackpot ticket sold in south Wisconsin was worth a world's record $195 million, but the lone winner chose to take immediate payout, or the true value of the ticket, $104.3 million.

I rarely buy Powerball tickets, but it's not because I don't like to gamble; the truth is, I enjoy gambling. It's just that my idea of gambling is more like 10 to 1, or sometimes 500 to 1 odds -- not 80 million to 1.

Personally, if I were going to put out my cold, hard cash for a wager, I would want to have a real chance of winning, not merely a dream.

In Powerball, or the state Lotto, buying a ticket, or a handful of tickets -- or even a barrelful -- provides a "chance" mathematicians would describe as "statistically insignificant."

When people ask why I don't buy a Powerball or Lotto ticket, I always tell them, "I've got just as much chance of finding $1 million in a parking lot as you do of cashing in a $1 million Lotto ticket."

What does it say about the rest of us when we can stand by and watch thousands of honest Americans, if not millions, hoodwinked into thinking they have a "chance" at restructuring their lives by winning millions of dollars in the lottery?

We would all be far better off buying a ticket on our future by wisely investing the hundreds of millions of dollars we waste on lottery tickets every year.

Now that's a real chance!

I wrote this column as a "My View" for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on June 27, 1998. The three jai alai frontons that had existed in Connecticut no longer exist. I now write my views on a wide variety of topics on HubPages.

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    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 9 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      I like that idea, compu-smart -- everybody should make it a point to give a dollar to charity (or a pound) every time they spend that amount on a lottery ticket. In theory, here in the U.S., much of the lottery revenues are supposed to go for education, but I'm not sure it really does.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 9 years ago from London UK

      William, your a man after my own heart andfeel just like you with your opinions!

      I have given more to charirty this year than ive spent on lottery tickets and thats a fact and i feel much better for it..


    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 9 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      As long as people buy their tickets with their eyes wide open, Donna. I've seen too many people who delude themselves beyond reason.

    • donnaleemason profile image

      donnaleemason 9 years ago from North Dakota, USA

      That is true William, but some people need to dream.