Top 7 Undeserving Lottery Winners
April 14, 2010 | Lists
Naysayers see the lottery as a way for the government to hoist your average poor slob up by his ankles and shake out what few remaining shekels are left in his pockets after he’s done paying his taxes and satisfying his ever-growing list of vices.
The lottery cannot just be written off as an “idiot tax”, however, as it speaks to a common dream: living in luxury without having to be part of a class-action lawsuit against a company that did something that would keep from you enjoying the money much anyway, like expose you to so much toxicity that a Budweiser sign wouldn’t be the only thing glowing in a dark bar with you in it.
Indeed, the prospect of ditching work and taking up residence in a country with ample coasts, bosoms, and tax loopholes is the cubicle reverie of many a solitaire champ. Although you are statistically more likely to be touched inappropriately by a person dressed as your favorite Disney character during your lifetime than you are to win a major lottery jackpot, the appeal of winning defies such rationalizations.
Stories of those who’ve just struck it rich in the lottery inspire – only the folks who hand out government arts grants due more to reward the bone idle – and it’s nice to hear a rags to riches story that doesn’t celebrate pimping and terrorizing innocent people for decades like every Hollywood gangster film ever made. But there are some lottery winners out there who just don’t deserve it. When they win a jackpot it taints the entire enterprise. Lottery officials would do well to rewrite some of the fine print on the back of tickets to ensure that the types below — Top 7 Undeserving Lottery Winners — are banned from claiming prizes.
7. Really Old People.
Lotteries should have a maximum age limit for players, say 65. Optimally, lottery winners should be between 25 and 35 years of age: old enough not to squander the money on charitable or social causes tied to the ideals of youth, and young enough to still have many years during which they can frivolously piss away their winnings. It could be argued that although the elderly might well be on the verge of hearing that final buzzer sound, they could still pass on their winnings to their family members, but most people resent the recipients of inherited wealth.
6. Strip Club/Gambling Aficionados.
If you enjoy an afternoon spent plugging away at a casino’s nickel machines before rushing off for a happy hour lap dance at the local Gawk and Grope, then chances are winning the lottery will not put you on the noble path to the renunciation of all such earthly vices. As terrific as a seemingly never-ending pot of money from which to pull out wads of cash while pursuing the right and true cause of debauchery, these stories never turn out well.
Like an orgy with a Chat Roulette Lurkers to normal human being ratio that favors the former, playing in large syndicates dilutes rewards to such a degree that it takes the sheen off participating at all. Whereas one to 10 people could use a jackpot to pay off loan sharks, student debts, alimony or alimony-negating hitmen, spreading the winnings out among too many people means the best you’ll be able to afford is a package trip to somewhere lousy.
4. The Overly Charitable.
There’s something to be said for sharing the wealth if your personal fortunes have just gone from zero, or less if you count the fiver you filched out of your roommate’s wallet for cigarettes, to a number that you could not write out due to all the confusing zeroes. Decency obliges lottery winners to kick some of their winnings into a charitable cause, say the Hemorrhoid Pillows for The Developed World Campaign, or the Fund to Silence Celebrities Spouting Crazy Theories on Vaccinations. But it’s nauseating when a lottery winner donates the majority or even all of a jackpot to charity (like this guy). Philanthropy on this scale has no place in the greedy, “Look at me, I’m living like King Ralph” world of lottery winners.
It’s a common enough scenario. A marriage deteriorates, going from teary-eyed wedding toasts to bitter snapping about why one’s partner no longer feels the need to suppress farts. An atmosphere of quiet loathing prevails, tempered only by the thought of what a hassle it would be to hire a lawyer and fill out all that paperwork for a divorce. Then one of the parties wins the lottery and the divorce lawyer is staying in the guest room as a fight more brutal than anything ever sanctioned under MMA rules erupts over the jackpot.
2. Previous Winners.
With a level of greed that would make an MTV cribber annex properties and declare an autonomous state, people who have won more than $15,000 in any previous lottery should be immediately disqualified from further winnings. Much like the ugly guy at the party who manages to dupe a drunk into bedding him, lottery winnings are, or should be, like a waiting list for a vital organ, a one-shot in a lifetime experience.
By far, the most aggravating type of lottery winner is the individual who says — company cap atop his creative dead space of a noggin — that this tremendous good fortune won’t change him, and that he’ll keep his job. While it might be fine to utter such a sentiment when the cameras are rolling, as a face-saving gesture to co-workers whose vocational relationship might otherwise turn Brutus to Caesar overnight, if journalists ever manage a follow-up, you should ideally be in another country with another wife.