Many dreams of fortune came to a crashing halt after the Mega Millions jackpot drawing this weekend. Despite not being one of the three states with a winning ticket, Virginia’s public schools have several reasons to be happy—22 million in fact.
Mega Millions ticket sales garnered nearly $22 million in profits, which by law will go to K-12 public schools in Virginia. In 2011, the lottery raised over $444 million for schools. Looks like they hit the jackpot (and didn’t even have to buy a ticket).
Regardless of the revenue spike lotto players provide the government, this six number gamble can be a serious problem for many. Although it is unclear what role the lottery has on compulsive gamblers, the lure of winning millions is hard for most to resist. Case in point: the long lines outside every deli, bodega, and gas station selling tickets before Friday’s $640 million drawing.
Below are some signs you might have a gambling problem.
- You spend more time gambling and less with your family.
- You become obsessed with placing bets and finding money to do so.
- You take out loans, borrow money to feed your habit.
- You experience frequent mood swings: happy when you win and depressed when you lose.
Some common myths about gamblers.
- You have a problem if you gamble every day. A problem gambler can gamble multiple times a day, once a day or once a week. Gambling is a problem if it causes problems. (i.e. you lie about it, start sneaking around).
- It’s not really a problem if you can afford it. Gambling doesn’t cause only financial problems. It can lead to relationship/friendship breakdowns.
- If a problem gambler builds up a debt, you should help them take care of it. This is a short term solution. It actually makes things worse and enables the gambler to continue with this behavior.
What can you do?