American Can Do “It”

Just this week, Americans from all walks of life came together for one cause: to win a billion dollars through the lottery. While it is very exciting and enticing to play the lottery in hopes to win lots of money and melt all your financial troubles away with a set of six numbers, it is a little disturbing too.

The billion dollars was created by the American public! With two dollars, people contributed to the largest lottery jackpot in the history of lottery games! Wow! Yes, I dreamed of winning that jackpot and taking my billions to the bank and stuffing it in the faces of my student loan representatives, my auto loan, credit cards, etc., however, I knew it would be a longshot that I would win such a hefty amount of money.

My friend and I watched the news reports of people lined up to pay for tickets in order to win…and then she looked over at me and said, “Why can’t people line up to help St. Jude’s hospital, where children are dying of cancer? Why can’t people in America contribute $2 to help the homeless? Americans raised over $1.5 billion dollars in a matter of months, and we cannot give to one single charity?” Yes. I agree. We may sound naive, but it is a genuine question.

The answer? We are selfish.

Now, I am not accusing everybody of not contributing to charity…no…but if we had some type of challenge to give $2 to a charity…every American give $2 to one single charity a year, that would be an accomplishment. Wouldn’t it? But again, the elephant in the room is the age-old question: “What’s in it for me?” Is a raffle ticket to win a new car? A new house? Money? No, just give to charity so that your heart and soul feels good.

In one of the news reports from another state, the reporter asked a man what he would do if he won the jackpot. He responded “Cocaine and prostitutes.” He might have been joking, but it was an awful answer.

I know that the lottery help some programs and I plead ignorance because I don’t know which one; but, I am wondering what would happen if Americans came together for one common cause — a cause that leads to solving a problem (cancer, homelessness, animal abuse, child abuse, etc.). What would and could happen if one of those charities received $1.5 billion?

Well, I guess that’s another dream I have.

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