The lottery illusion

If you won a lottery for €10 million, would you feel ecstatic? How long would this feeling last?

While contemplating this jackpot, it pays to realize, as somebody who is reading this, that you have already won several lotteries. Two significant lotteries in our lives are our parents and the country of our birth. And then there are relatives, teachers, peers and colleagues. Friends and mentors we may get to choose, but the rest are but lotteries.

Being born in the 21st century is another damn good lottery prize. The end of poverty and involuntary hunger loom on the horizon. Medical science has never been better – people even 50 years ago lived 15 years lesser than we do. 15 years! We live in the era of the internet, where every voice can be heard, every student has access to courses from MIT, and every laptop with an internet connection can launch a business empire. What a time to be alive!

Think about the long list of lotteries that you have already won – none of which were inevitable and all of which are invaluable. If we aren’t ecstatic about those lotteries, why would a potful of money be any different?

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