The lottery

If someone came along and asked you for money, saying, we’re pooling little bits of money from everyone in order to get a really big pool. We’ll then pick one of those who contributed money to get the entire pool of money. Will you contribute? Well, depends on how they are doing to do the picking. It would probably be some kind of random mechanism.

Maybe it also depends on your trust in the system and what is the intention of doing this pooling. Or the known results of this pooling. What if I told you that the beneficiary of the funds-pooling routinely loses all the money and his or her life is destroyed by the sudden windfall? Would you still go ahead to contribute? To what extent would you contribute in hopes that you are the recipient of that windfall?

Well, I’m effectively describing the lottery. Millions of people are still on it around the world. For the simple narrative of buying a slice of hope. Yet if you go out there suggesting that we take micropayments from everyone to make a single person rich, no one will actually support you. It is curious how shifting the storyline works so well. And the lottery is basically a manifestation of how the right storyline sells.