“If only I could win the lottery”… I’m sure many of us have told ourselves this and perhaps have even bought a ticket or two hoping that we would be the lucky ones to win the jackpot, especially when the prize is extraordinarily high. We think about what we could do with all that money, how our financial problems will be solved, how we can help our families, the brethren and the church, and so on. “If only we could win the lottery,” so we might say, and hasten to add, “IF that is what God wants…”
The odds of winning the lottery are very small and almost impossible when looking at the percentage. Here in the U.S., it is estimated that 1 in 292 million has a chance to win the Powerball jackpot by getting all 6 numbers correct as well as the Powerball number. In the past 7 years, there have been incredible jackpot amounts of over a billion dollars due to the fact that lottery officials adjusted game rules and ticket prices to pump up the top prizes. So far, the largest jackpot was at $2.04 billion on November 7, 2022.
In an article by cbsnews.com, it was stated that “the likelihood of one person winning it all is vanishingly small. Statistically speaking, a Powerball player has a far better chance of being attacked by a grizzly bear at Yellowstone National Park — about 1 in 2.7 million, according to the National Park Service — or of finding a blue lobster in the ocean (1 in 2 million).
“The best number-picking strategy is to have no strategy at all. A computer randomly generates the winning digits… better to use a random ticket number generator — also known as quick picks — because those machines better match what the Powerball might do.”
There have been stories of winners who were not prepared to have so much money, leading to bad decisions, and the pressures and stress were far too large. Their lives were not as glamorous as they were hoping for and still remained unhappy, if not worse. Money could not buy them happiness. Trying to live a quiet and peaceful life is hardly the case, as they are now the center of attention and everyone wants a piece of their pie.
Again, for those of us who haven’t won, we tell ourselves, “If that was only us, what we would do with that money and how happy we would be, how we would do things differently.” Is that what God wants? Perhaps we think we are prepared to take on the challenge for we have the knowledge and insight on how to handle our wealth in a wise way, using biblical principles and God’s blessings (compare Proverbs 10:22; 21:20). Unfortunately, many who are not prepared would find themselves in a mess.
Winning the lottery is most likely not our destiny, but something far more significant is, and if we want to compare percentages to how many people in the world are truly converted and have been set aside by God for His purpose of salvation, it is most likely only a fraction of a percent. At the time of Noah, the percentage of those who were saved from physical destruction was far less than the possibility of winning the lottery today.
The opportunity for God’s people right now to be saved and to ultimately receive the greatest gift of all is predestined for us (compare Ephesians 1:3-6). But this is ONLY the case IF we keep God’s commandments. We do this and we are 100% guaranteed to be in His Family as born-again members and to have everlasting life (Matthew 19:17).
It will not be the odds of winning a lottery that will give us ultimate happiness; rather, it is the certainty of belonging to the very few in the world who have been called now for the potential of achieving everlasting life and being in the God Family which is a far greater blessing than anything this world has to offer.