You and I probably do our fair share of foolish things, but today’s
attached devotional warns us against a deadly foolish thing. Do let it
keep you clear of the lottery. God bless you.
Because of Calvary,
I Timothy 6:9 (ESV)
9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
One night in June 1997, Billie Bob Harrell, Jr., sat in his easy chair and checked his Quick Pick lottery ticket against a sequence of numbers in the newspaper. His heart skipped a beat when he saw that the numbers matched. The lottery ticket in his hand was worth $31 million. Billie Bob and his wife, Barbara Jean, were instant millionaires.
“After being laid off from several jobs, Billie Bob’s financial struggles were over. With his windfall, he bought a ranch for himself and a vacation home. He, his wife, and each of his kids got new cars. He made a huge donation to his church.
“But his blessing soon turned into a curse. Relatives, church members, and strangers begged him for financial assistance. He quickly lost track of how much he spent and lent. He and his wife began arguing about money.
“One day in 1999, less than two years after winning the lottery, he sat down with his financial adviser and grimly confessed, ‘Winning the lottery was the worst thing that ever happened to me.’ A few days later he took his shotgun into the bedroom of his expensive home, pressed the barrel to his chest, and pulled the trigger….
“Such stories are amazingly common. A man who won $16,2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 discovered his brother was plotting to murder him in order to inherit the winnings. The brother went to prison and within a few years the lottery winner was broke, having spent or lost all his money. He was living on Social Security when he died….
“Financial advisors Michael Begin and Darl LePage have researched the lives of lottery winners and observe, ‘The reality is that 70 percent of all lottery winners will squander away their winnings in a few years. In the process, they will see family and friendships destroyed and the financial security they hoped for disappear.’” [Ray C. Stedman, The Fight of Faith: Studies in the Pastoral Letters of Paul, (Grand Rapids: Discovery House, 2009), p. 146-147]