Is the lottery a form of entertainment?
Is the lottery really entertainment or is it just a way of seducing people to spend money? First, let’s look at what entertainment really is. It can be an action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment. It can also be an activity that holds a person’s attention and interest and gives pleasure or delight. Or passes someone’s time in a fun or exciting way. Board or video games are played for entertainment such as simply for recreation, or sometimes for achievement or reward. The circus gives entertainment through the performances of acrobats, clowns, and animals. People pay a fee to attend the circus and be delighted in watching a showcase of activities that are fun, exciting, and thrilling to see.
In it for the thrill!
With the lottery, people pay a fee to buy a ticket to have a chance to win up to tens of millions of dollars and more. There is the fun and excitement of the anticipated win coupled with reward of actually winning a large prize. The anticipation and buildup to the draw is both exciting and “worth the wait” for players.
Some would consider that to be entertaining. Others see it as just the reaction to playing any lottery game such as the lottery, scratch tickets, or BINGO. But any type of pastime, even gambling, can be seen as entertainment. There is no guarantee of winning a prize, but there is the aspect of amusement (being able to play a lottery that can net you millions of dollars) and enjoyment (and what you imagine you will do when you win those millions.). It can hold your attention and interest (playing the lottery every week, buying your tickets at your favourite retailer) and any positive outcome (free ticket, five dollars, ten million dollars) gives you pleasure and delight.
Although the desired outcome would be to win the lottery jackpot or top award, even winning a free play can give us feeling of fun and accomplishment. The lottery doesn’t just hand over money willy nilly to everyone who wants it. That wouldn’t be fun, exciting, or even pass minute out of your day. But the process of buying your ticket online or going to a retailer takes time. If you choose to pock your own numbers, then you have increased your participation and made it more personal which passes more time and gives an increased joy in preparing for the outcome.
Anticipation and Excitement
The waiting for the draw date promotes a feeling of anticipation that slowly builds up day after day as that time for the draw comes ever closer. The anticipation of the win lets you imagine all the possibilities you can think of what you will do with the money and lets you fantasize how that would feel were it true.
Then there is the date of the draw and waiting for the results. You may count down the time to the draw, and you may wait patiently, or not so patiently, for the results to be published so you check your ticket. Since you know beforehand that you most likely are not going to win anything, it will be a great time if you win even a free ticket.
So when you check your ticket and find out it has not won anything, you are not at all surprised but understand you took a chance. And of course you will buy another ticket for the next draw. And you go through the same fun, excitement, and anticipation as before, taking time to select your numbers and getting your ticket printed. And each time, your entertainment money is not only giving you a chance to win it big, but to provide you with much needed positive thoughts and pleasure as you wait again to see if you have won anything from the jackpot to a free ticket.