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Lotteries

THE LOTTERY

There was once a short story written by an author named Shirley Jackson called the lottery. In most of our lives lotteries are wonderful things that can make us filthy rich with the investment of a couple of dollars and some luck.

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Even when we don’t win there is the fun of imagining what to do if fortune smiles on us and suddenly we find ourselves in a situation where investment bankers are sending us muffin baskets and kissing our pinky rings. In the world of Ms. Jackson, lotteries are a far less enjoyable experience that can result in a large number of heavy rocks being chucked at the person who has the winning ticket. I don’t know exactly where Shirley was buying her lottery tickets, but a more reasonable person would do their shopping elsewhere.
Outside of the little lottery hiccup that occurs in the macabre world that Shirley Jackson calls home, lotteries have been around as long as human beings have had the desire to buy stuff they couldn’t afford without a little help. In Europe, lotteries can be traced back to the days of Caesar and Rome; a time when a good knife and a few friends was an acceptable way to deal with a government divided along partisan lines. In fact the most recognizable ancient monument that stands as a testament to the power of the lottery is the Great Wall of China. Much of this wonder of the ancient world was funded by lottery money.


Today the lottery is as integrated with our lives as the internet or chocolate. Although in this modern, fast paced world where we simply don’t have time to mess around, we have chopped a full syllable off of the word, and just refer to it as lotto. Despite this questionable phonetic practice, lotto is part of the daily life in a large chunk of the world.
Choosing numbers that might make one rich became easier when the internet came along. No longer was a person confined to their state lotto, sites like the www.thelotter.com give people access to lotteries across the globe. People now have the opportunities to become millionaires in currencies that range from the Euro, to the American dollar, to the Israeli sheqel. Just remember the old marketing slogan “You cant win if you don’t play.”

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