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Lottery – The Ugly Underbelly of Covetousness

Lottery is a type of gambling that involves paying a small amount of money for a chance to win a prize. The prize can be money or a valuable item. Prizes are assigned by chance and are independent of prior participation. In other words, a person who has never participated in a lottery has no advantage over someone who has.

Lotteries are popular in many countries, and are a common method of raising funds for public uses. The oldest running lottery is the Staatsloterij in the Netherlands, which was founded in 1726. During the 15th century, town records from Ghent, Utrecht, and Bruges indicate that lotteries were used to raise money for walls, town fortifications, and poor relief.

People are drawn to the prospect of winning the lottery because it holds out the promise that they will be able to solve their problems and improve their lives by acquiring wealth. But God has a very different view of covetousness: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, his wife, his male or female servant, his ox, or his donkey” (Exodus 20:17). Lotteries are an ugly underbelly of the desire to covet wealth.

The odds of winning the lottery are very low. Those who have won have typically paid huge taxes, and most of their winnings are gone in a few years. Instead of buying tickets, Americans would be better off using that money to pay off debts or build an emergency fund.