The Lottery

A worldwide look at lotteries

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Temptation through big dreams or just show where the money goes?

Lottery advertising across the world entice potential players with stories of riches waiting just for you but very few Lotteries do a good job when it comes to telling their players where the money goes. As always there are exceptions notably the United Kingdom's National Lottery and the Canadian Atlantic Lottery.

Atlantic Canadians have been playing the lottery for years — with little idea as to where their money was going. Lack of accessible information left citizens in the dark about the Atlantic Lottery. In partnership with Revolve, we helped create a hub for Atlantic Canadians to ask The Atlantic Lottery Corporation anything they want. A destination for answers, told in a truthful voice…from a government institution. Yes, it can be done.

The United Kingdom's National Lottery has created a digital platform to educated and inform the British public where the money goes. The National Lottery Good Causes site pulls all 14 National Lottery distributors together under one banner so that the general public have a one stop shop to get all the news they need on how Lottery money is spent across the UK.

Users can search through all Lottery funded projects which can be found according to different types of funding such as the arts, education, health, sports and the environment as well as geographical location.

Happiness Through Charity

On Mike Dariano

Happiness can’t really be bought, at least not through goods. People who buy things for themselves quickly get used to those things and need more things which they quickly get used to. Their cycle never ends. The best way for money to leave your wallet in exchange for happiness, is to give it away. People who gave money as gifts or to charity are happier than those who don’t, and it doesn’t matter how much money you have right now or how much you give.

Lots of us think - and I used to too - that if we only won the lottery our lives would be different. We could pay our bills, take a nice vacation, and be set a life with more mai tais and fewer neckties. It turns out though that lottery winners have a much bumpier life that us non-winners imagine.

I live on a wooded lot in the country and we have dozens of trees - oak, maple, hickory - which periodically fall down. These trees make great firewood and whenever we find someone who needs wood, we offer some of ours. We can do this because we don’t burn wood. Imagine though that we did burn it, and people knew we had all this easy-pickin wood. They might beg us to share because we have plenty. It turns out that this imagined scenario is exactly what happens to lottery winner. Generally, they either spend all their money and go into debt, or they get annoyed with badgering friends and lose those friendships. Even non-winners who imagine winning, pre-isolate themselves. One guy who commented on an article about lottery winners declared that he would print a picture of himself sitting in a tub full of dollar bills and from behind his locked doors, send that picture to any solicitors. What a guy.

The lottery as a yellow bricked road to easy street is a fallacy. There may be a wizard at the end, but he won't have happiness. Instead, our path to happiness on the wheels of money is through charity. Research has found that people who spend any amount of money on anyone else report being happier than those who get to keep the entire sum of the money.

In a study of two groups of college students, one group was given $20 to spend on someone else, another group $5 to spend on themselves. The group that spent the $20 on others was happier than the other group and it didn’t even matter how the money was spent. Some students donated the money to an organization that helped people with malaria, others bought coffee for a friend - all giving students were happier.

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