Wednesday, May 06, 2015

30 Days - Day 23

Start 'em Young.

I was at my local shop yesterday. I try and buy as much as I can there, fruits, meats.

They have a thriving business in the vices: cigarettes, booze, tickets.

Tickets: they're the tax on the poor kind. Instant play. Instant win. Weekly lottery. It seems there is no end to the variety. I don't condemn anyone for playing them, but it can be another addiction like alcohol or drugs.

I'd say in Newfoundland this kind of instant gambling is completely out of control with the full blessing of government who greedily reap their taxes commissions. Poor people hoping for that sudden boost out of poverty or just the adrenalin surge before the ticket gets burst open or the teevee draw for a new millionaire takes place.

This is boosted in no small way by the out of control local "grand in your hand" draws (collect $2,000, give $1,000 to the winner at $10 a ticket) and bingo nights. Most of these fund the impoverished (ahem) RC church. Generations of residents dinged over and over again for church upkeep with excesses syphoned off to Rome.

This addiction has never affected me. I don't say this smugly. I'm addicted enough, thanks! Even casinos, etc. have no appeal to me whatsoever. I calculate the odds and over a lifetime it could be millions of dollars spent if you had invested and reinvested your outlay in the stock market or GICs..

I've seen out of control gambling lead many all the way down to homelessness and/or suicide - the same end results as other addictions.

I said to one woman, on welfare, who spends $200 weekly on these tickets.

"You know if you saved that up you'd have over $10,000 at the end of the year in your pocket?"

She looked at me in surprise.

"But that would be no fun!" she said seriously.

I mean, I have to bite my tongue before I ask her what kind of fun, exactly, is she having throwing her money down the toilet?

And then yesterday I see an 8 year old girl handing in her tickets and winning $10 and her mother, behind her, says:

"Now you're on a roll, lovie, buy more tickets!"
"But I want candies, I want to spend the money on candies!"
"Ah, don't be foolish. You could buy a 1,000 candies when you win big!"

I'll let you work out what happened.

And sweet jaysus, 8 years old!


  1. Hi, Best wishes. Am, actually, 'on the other side' of 70, as well as the other side of the planet. Australia.

    Simply thought t let you know that there are almost intelligent peoples down here in the Antipodes.

  2. Yep! Taking in the gambling money to pay for treatment programs. A make-work project at its Rube Goldberg best! Thanks for dropping by Sojourner. I left you a message about a movie you might like a few posts back so have a look. (You'd written about one set in a boat and I sent you an idea for another I think you will like!) Later my deario!

  3. Wow, you've been writing up a storm! I'm glad you're finding it helpful. Sorry about your poor doggie, though. That's a tough situation. I've yet to buy a lottery ticket myself, although I admit I'm tempted. But I don't understand throwing away so much money on regularly buying them.

  4. Since I cannot win an argument, there would be no point in wasting my widow's mite on the lottery or other such forms of gambling. Waking up each day is gamble enough for me! ;)

  5. One must be 18 to buy lottery tickets here in California, but it is indeed big business. Same thing with the Indian gaming casinos.

  6. I like the crossword tickets, but dh always buys them, I won't waste my money on them. You have to be 18 to buy lottery tickets in Canada as well.

  7. So far we concerned citizens have been able to keep state sponsored gambling as well as casinos out of Hawaii. A lot of unauthorized gambling goes on, of course. Fighting legalization is a constant battle, since gambling interests would love to operate in the open here in Hawaii.


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