The National Lottery gives its many players a weekly minor thrill and redistributes income according to luck. It also has provided over £20 billions to ‘good causes’. (You pay a pound to have some entertainment and something to look forward to on TV, knowing you’re also giving to a good cause. This is what Wikipedia says:
“28% of lottery revenue goes towards the fund, along with all unclaimed prizes. Additionally, 12% goes to the state. The prize fund is 50% of revenue, with the remaining 10% going towards running costs and profits for the lottery organisers and ticket sellers.
The distribution of money to ‘good causes’ is not the responsibility of the operator (Camelot). It is the responsibility of The National Lottery Distribution Fund (NLDF), administered by the government Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Currently 18% each is given to arts, sports and heritage via government agencies and the remaining 46% is given to charitable, health, education and environment causes by theBig Lottery Fund.”
However, continuously taking part in the lottery is in purely financial terms a stupid decision. Yet people still play, in the vague hope that they can win, and perhaps because they are afraid they will risk ‘losing’ what they might win if they don’t play. In short, people’s hopes are artificially raised.
Furthermore, the publicity surrounding the lottery reinforces the belief that money is the sole means of defining yourself. People are told if they acquire the money from winning the lottery, they will as a direct consequence be happy and shown they are successful. The lottery is perhaps the epitome of the get-rich-quick culture. It advocates easy solutions to what should really be hard work.
In George Orwell’s 1984, the lottery is used by the dictatorship as a means of occupying the proletariat. In today’s society it could be said to offer a false America dream ideal (yet without any hard work) to many.