The Hidden Costs of Lottery


Lottery is a popular way for states to raise money by selling tickets for a prize. People buy them to win cash, cars, houses, or other goods. But a lottery is actually a form of gambling that often costs more than the prizes they offer.

Lotteries are illegal in many places, but they still occur all over the world. Some are run by governments and others by private companies. The prize amounts range from a few hundred dollars to billions of dollars. Regardless of the size of the prize, winning a lottery is never guaranteed. Many winners end up blowing the money, spending it on expensive luxury items or gambling it away. Others wind up in debt or facing lawsuits. The best way to handle a sudden windfall is to combine long-term, pragmatic financial planning with a solid savings plan.

Some states require that a percentage of ticket sales be used to pay out prizes, but this reduces the amount that is available for state revenue and public services. Lotteries are a source of government revenue that isn’t as transparent as a tax, and consumers often don’t realize that they’re paying an implicit tax on their lottery tickets.

Lottery plays are a form of covetousness, which is forbidden by God (see Ecclesiastes 5:10-15). They lure people with promises that money can solve all their problems. But instead, the Bible teaches that true riches come from diligent work and wise use of resources.