Sunday, October 28, 2007

SHORT FEATURE: HISTOR'S EYE - THE LOTTERY



According to the Catechism "Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement."

"A lottery is one of the aleatory contracts and is commonly defined as a distribution of prizes by lot or by chance." says the 1912 Catholic Encyclopedia. "It is obviously a kind of gambling if considered from the point of view of the contributories; by the directors it is sometimes used as a means of raising money. Morally it is objectionable if carried to excess as it tends to develop the gambling spirit and distract people from earning a livelihood by honest work. However, if there is no fraud of any sort in the transaction, and if there is some sort of proportion between the price of a ticket and the value of a chance of gaining a prize, a lottery cannot be condemned as in itself immoral."

A 2005 Los Angeles Times story noted that "the big lottery numbers in Italy these days are 21 and 37: On the international clock they correspond to 9:37 p.m., the time John Paul II died. "Lotto playing is up 70 percent since the pope's death," said Shamir, who advises his clients on what numbers to pick. " At the moment the pope has taken over the calculations of the game. Everyone is betting his numbers." No word yet on if JPII has come through for anyone playing the numbers. I don't think that would count towards canonization anyway.

4 comments:

Histor the Wise said...

And here I was, thinking my name was oh so original....

As for lotteries, I'd much rather play poker. More entertaining, and the odds of winning are better (even though the stakes are smaller).

Histor
P.S. Why does Robin Hood have a balloon?

EegahInc said...

I thought that might get a comment out of you :)

A couple of the guys who leave comments around here can attest first hand that my poker skills are lacking. (That's too charitable, I stink.) Come to think of it, I've never won at games of chance either. Think I'll stick to my day job.

I'm not sure on the Robin Hood thing. I know Richard Branson, who started Virgin Records, once tried to gain control of the English Lottery, but what that has to do with a balloon I haven't a clue.

Miguel Cuthbert said...

Wasn't Richard Branson one of the guys trying to go around the world in a balloon... but lost to the other really rich guy who was sucked into the Nevada Triangle?

EegahInc said...

You're right, I completely forgot about that. There's got to be a better way for a gazillionaire to leave his mark on the world.