The Lottery and The South


I bought lottery tickets. It’s not something most talk about down South. It’s not something people own up to. It’s seen in the Bible belt as “gambling.” I once heard a pastor say that it’s not Godly to play the lottery, but it is to pray for your friends or family to win….

Apparently,  I grew up in a “gambling” family. Grandpa would walk down to the corner store, buy a lottery ticket and lose. Sometimes he’d win and cover his losses.  To my ten year old senses, it just something like a game at a carnival where you give money and hope to win something – isn’t that gambling?

Today, I was in line at the local gas station holding my Powerball sheet.  A white haired woman in her late 60’s notices and asks, “How do you do that? I mean, how do you play that? I’ve always wondered.”

Realizing, this is going to go one way or another, I answer her… forgetting my half Yankee accent. I finish off, “…or you can let the computer choose it for you.”

“Oh, I just couldn’t do it,” she shakes her head and I brace for a lecture. “No one from the South ever wins.”



“Well then it’s high time, isn’t it?” and I smile. Because I feel I have even better odds. My status of “Southern” is always up for debate.

Besides, as I walked away, it didn’t make sense to me. This is the Bible belt after all. Can’t God let SOMEONE from the South win?

And then I realize something even more obvious. We have our own NC lottery and someone from the south always wins.

Either way, the only thing worse than 1 in a bajillion chances is zero.

Grandpa would be proud….