“I know it’s a waste of money, but why not dream a little?”
-Michael Woods, 39 http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-0114-powerball-20160114-story.html
Here is a story about different kind of odds, I just did an experiment of having the same feelings of the person who said ‘why not dream a little’. I always had my concerns with the ethics of gambling and never did it and wouldn’t consider it. But today was a one-time exception.
I couldn’t understand people who spend money to ‘dream a little’ without feeling their exact feelings. I wouldn’t understand those who go broke because of gambling, unless at least I tried to be in their position, for at least an hour or two.
The same day of the historic high record Powerball, I remembered the $5 bill that I picked up from the sidewalk last year and didn’t use it yet. I thought why not try it with this money that I didn’t work at all to get. It’s someone’s else effort that I was just lucky to find it.
I thought of the odds of going through the experience and feel what millions of Powerball ticket ‘players’ are feeling. My odds are very very high that I will feel the same. I made a decision, that even if I win the lottery, I won’t consume it for a personal gain. But you know the odds of that happening, but still I had to account for that.
So I decided to stop judging and do it myself. The $5 I found one day on the street got me two tickets and $1 dollar back. Resisting the feeling of not paying for an additional dollar from my pocket for a third ticket was hard, very hard, but I did resist it. I purchased only two tickets.
Here is what I found, dreaming a little makes your mind occupied. It gets you daydreaming without actually working on your own dreams. I was hearing others say ‘You won’t see me next week if I win’. How sad to hear people saying things they are 99.999999608% likely going to regret in few hours.
I wasn’t disappointed at all, I started day dreaming and the ‘what if’ I actually win but eventually not winning. I had these emotions and thoughts that could start as excitement and entertainment. But it’s always out of proportion, out of the odds. I thought of the fun charities and research that could be supported by this. It was actually nice to think hard about who I am and what really matters to me.
I hope you didn’t skim reading this just to see if I actually won something. If that happened, then your curiosity about if I have won a cash prize exceeded your curiosity about why going through gambling could be devastating, interesting, but emotionally out of proportion with reality.
Given I only had the ‘lucky’ numbers 27 and 34 only, I got what I expected, the emotional experience of dreaming big, for a little while, with extremely low odds.
To seek a productive society, I only can be in good terms with gambling if we had a very very wise, educated, and self-disciplined population. Otherwise, we are setting up millions for disappointment from ‘dream a little’. Why should I dream a little if I can dream big?