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Lotteries and the Publisher's Clearing House

Updated on May 4, 2012

Why do we bother?

I remember being so desperate to find another job one year I took $150.00 of my $250.00 bonus and spent it on scratchoffs. I didn't have my own vehicle since my job didn't pay me enough so that I could afford one and my home as well. I was trapped in a dead end job because i couldn't afford to leave. Out of those scratchoffs I won $75.00 so I turned that in for more scratchoffs and lost the rest of what I put out. A foolish move. A desperate reach for help from an unreliable source.

Ever since my employer went under in August of 2010 I have spent countless hours on Publishers Clearing House sites hoarding entries, playing scratch offs and searching in order to be eligible to win. In that time I won not even a single $5 gift card! Not even a dollar bill! What a waste of my time and energy. Not only that but how depressing. After applying to jobs week after week and getting hardly a response you look for a little light at the end of the tunnel but the only thing I ever received was a feeling of hopelessness and despair.

Recently there was a huge lottery won by the Three Amigos. They were three friends who worked in the same location in Maryland and get to split over 200 million beans! I felt so happy for these folks. Every once in a while the American dream is still realized.

That's it in a nutshell though. The only piece of the once lauded American dream left for the native citizen is a feint hope of winning the lottery. Foreigners still have the dream working for them. They get a seven year span in which they do not have to pay taxes while working here. Many send that money back to where they came from, further injuring our ailing economy. They get big breaks on education loans and they practice nepotism as business owners, not hiring anyone but their own kind.

How much money have poor people wasted on lottery tickets? How many people with gambling issues have lost everything to this easy access money pit? I find it sad that this what the "Dream" has become.

I have often said to parents of troubled young lads that the issue is not you as parents, its the fact that we have left little for following generations to discover. Information is instantly there in the form of TV and Internet. No longer do young lads feel the need to travel the lands and find their destiny. No longer do girls sit home waiting for these adventurous go getters to take them away from it all so they can start a new family. Things have changed, flipped and twisted to the point that there is so little to look forward to discovering, much of the excitement of life is gone.

As a teenager my parents made the poor decision to move to an isolated town. On one side a major oil corporation. On another side an impassable creek, another the delaware river and the last a major highway. The town was trapped in a square. Juvenile delinquents were the order of the day merely because kids were bored out of their minds. There was nowhere to go. Nowhere to explore and there was not even a place they could lawfully gather without being harrassed by the cops. Yet parents had the nerve to pretend they didnt understand why this was happening!

Now as an adult I see that though I no longer live in that social prison i am still caught in a box. I received a nice little letter from Careerbuilder in response to one of my applications. It told me the statistics of the application. It said, Thank you for applying. You are one of 372 applicants to this position. Average experience 3-6 years, average distance from location - 20 miles.

That was a punch in the face. Really. The number counters keep lying to the public and saying unemployment is down. People run out of unemployment and are no longer monitored by the system. These people are now either homeless because they ran out of funds to pay their bills or they are relying on loved ones to carry them. Unmentioned in the news is the suicide rate, which has been growing for the last ten years. Some people would rather die than ask for help. They would rather end it all than hold out their hands and be looked down upon with derision by their peers. I call this economical bullying.

The lottery and PCH are not helping. They are hurting. I know the money that they rake in goes toward charities and taxes but none of that money goes toward helping all the people who are losing everything because of the lack of jobs. No one is helping those people and I hate to point this out but I witnessed this happening. If those folks are white they are a lot less likely to get the help they need, at least here in Jersey. The lottery is doing nothing but distracting people and providing false hope to the desperate.

How sad that there is no hope. How sad that the system demands so much from the everyday person but gives so little in return. What is this place I find myself living in? What happened to the endless possibilities? What became of the American Dream? Without these two things I find myself questioning everything. If the hopes of lifting myself past my parent's station in life is improbable and next to impossible why do I bother? What is the point?

I find myself rooting for the unarmed bank robbers. They hand over a note, threaten harm and walk out with the money! The money is insured so who gets hurt? Sounds easier than winning the lottery. Desperate times breed desperate men who do what they must in veritable desperation. Are there truly evil men or different levels of desperation? The cost of living in Jersey has created a new wave of crime all across the state. Did you know that the USA is the only nation that contracts out its prison systems? They are actually making money on the desperate men doing desperate things. Yet another sector of fat rich bastards who are working against the good of all in order to fill their pockets.

Ah well, let me stop here. Let me count my quarters and see how many lottery tickets i can afford tonight. Let me check my email and see if the PCH is actually not a scam. Let me enjoy the roof over my head while I'm still getting unemployment. Desperation is around the bend. All I have to look forward to as a tax paying, hard working, conscientious citizen is winning the lottery. I should have been a drug addict.


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    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      TIMETRAVELER2 5 years ago

      Barnsey: You clearly are a man with a good mind who is able to express himself well. That you are in this situation is heartbreaking. Clearly, you are not alone. There are many well educated, marketable people out there right now who can't find jobs. These are bad times, for sure. I know a guy with an MA who couldn't find work, so he started an auto detailing business. He works alone and he works hard, but he makes good money and his investment is minimal. Since he lives in Florida, this is a year round business. Maybe you ought to think about doing something similar and moving to a better climate if that's possible. Whatever happens, don't give up!

    • AnnRandolph profile image

      AnnRandolph 5 years ago

      Timetraveler2

      Have you considered a work from home job. Arise.com is a legitimate company that pays. You are your own boss and answer customer service calls for companies. Just a thought.

    • Barnsey profile image
      Author

      Barnsey 5 years ago from Happy Hunting Grounds

      Own a home here, for now anyway, so that won't happen. Yeah, owning a small business seems to be the way to go but finding a niche when you live in over populated Jersey is a task unto itself. Thank you for the kind words, Timetraveler2, I will not give up, but staying between the lines is another matter.

    • Barnsey profile image
      Author

      Barnsey 5 years ago from Happy Hunting Grounds

      I keep running across scams on the home job front but I'll check Arise.com out, thanks for the tip!

    • JaneKnowsbest profile image

      JaneKnowsbest 5 years ago

      Thanks for this. I'm going to show it to my husband!! lol

    • Barnsey profile image
      Author

      Barnsey 5 years ago from Happy Hunting Grounds

      Thanks for visiting, JaneKnowsbest!

    • Debbiestrange profile image

      Debbiestrange 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I think you just inspired me to write my next hub. In short, I decided to go back to college at the tender age of 46 years old. I earned my degree in psychology in December, 2011. I have been applying for jobs ever since; over 100 applications submitted and a grand total of 3 interviews; none of which panned out. I get discouraged and frustrated but I know I will be great at what I finally get hired for. I will be beginning my Master's program in the next week or so; a year and a half to get this degree and I can open my own practice. So, if I have to take a job less than what I am qualified for, I will do it just to keep my head above water.

      Well written hub Barnsey; you have a real gift for writing.

    • Barnsey profile image
      Author

      Barnsey 5 years ago from Happy Hunting Grounds

      Thank you, Debbiestrange, congratulations on your degree and good luck out there, we all need a little luck nowadays!

    • Debbiestrange profile image

      Debbiestrange 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      Thanks. Yes, luck is a good thing to have. You know you are desperate for a job when you see a shooting star and wish for a job. :)

    • Barnsey profile image
      Author

      Barnsey 5 years ago from Happy Hunting Grounds

      48 Septa workers won the PowerBall today and each when all is said and done will be getting approx. 2.4 million! How about that folks? Dreams do come true! They had the right idea. Put your money together in a mass pool. Why should only one person join the ranks of rich fat bastards! lol!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      You write very well and I know you know that, but its always nice to hear someone else say it. :) I cannot begin to understand, much less explain, how we have come to this dreadful impasse as a society and a nation. I can only sympathize with your unemployment situation.

      Two years ago, my very diligent and hard-working son lost his home after being out of work for 22 mos. (Seven years with IBM and then they restructured and eliminated his department.) He finally found a job making about 65% of his previous salary, but 65% is much better than nothing.

      At 37, his family is in an apt (not the worst thing, of course) having lost all the money they poured into a house for almost eight years, his credit is ruined , but life goes on. And he and you are two of the millions of people that this has happened to.

      And the wealthy 1% are still complaining and repeating the lie that as they make more money, they will create more jobs for the rest of us. Makes me furious and crazy when I think about it. I hope that the right position opens up for you soon.

    • Barnsey profile image
      Author

      Barnsey 5 years ago from Happy Hunting Grounds

      THank you so much, I really appreciate it. Indeed there are millions of us and yet the official unemployment numbers say we are only just under 400,000! This is because of all the people who have had their benefits run out and are not being monitored by the system any longer. Big brother wants to tell us how to live but he sure doesnt want to lend us a real hand, does he? Thanx again and good luck to you and yours!

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      Hang in there Barnsey. Bad things happen but you might be able to find some side money by working on writing projects at Textbroker.com or ODesk.com. If you go the ODesk route, be careful to bid only on projects from clients with at least 4 stars and proof that they have hired at least several people for projects prior to you.

      Other work at home options include Alpine Access, Working Solutions and LiveOps. I wrote a hub that goes into more detail about streams of income. Best of luck to you.

    • Barnsey profile image
      Author

      Barnsey 5 years ago from Happy Hunting Grounds

      Why thank you for the tips, Express! I will surely look into them. I Appreciate it!

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      You're very welcome, textbroker.com adds projects 24/7 and you have to get in the habit of checking several times daily, but there is hope. I hope things change for you ASAP.

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