The question, “how much is too much?” rattles around in my brain way more often than it should. It relates to so many topics and takes on a number of variations….
- How much is too much chips and salsa at Chili’s?
- How many beers are too many beers in an hour?
- How many Seinfeld references are too many in a gambling blog?
- How much is too much to spend on an eBay auction for vintage GI Joe’s (hint: no amount is too much)?
For today, the one that I can’t shake is how much is too much to spend on scratch tickets on a daily basis? This may come as a bit of a surprise, but I may have a little bit of a gambling itch. When I can’t make it to a casino to scratch that itch, I can go to my local corner store and pick from a hundred different ways to get my fix. Based on where I live/work/play, scratchies are usually a mere steps away. If I have cash in my pocket for 15 minutes, Gilbert behind the counter will have that cash in his register and handing over those glorious pieces of thick glossy paper by the 16th minute . It’s as much of a no-brainer as hiring Art Vandelay as your latex salesman.
For years, the Wingmen and I would get together for Scratch Ticket Saturday. It was usually around bonus/tax refund day and we would belly up to a bar and scratch for hours until the money or the tickets ran out. At that time, I was firmly entrenched in the $5 ticket world occasionally hitting for a $100 and on a few momentous occasions a $500 windfall. These days, my bankroll may have grown a bit or the juices don’t get flowing unless there is a little more at play. So thank you to the fine folks at the state lottery for putting out the $30 tickets….you really know your way to a man’s heart.
I keep all my losing scratch tickets on the off chance I hit something big and need to prove loses for Uncle Sam. I recently counted up the stacks from the last 4 years or so of scratching and let’s say I had about a 2016 used SUV in that box. Not all of this is from cash out of pocket. If I win something small, I am going back in for sure. If I win something bigger, I pocket a few bucks and go back in for more. Side note – can you believe I have only been to the lottery office three times in my life all for minimum amount you need to cash in? What a bag of bullshit that is!!! Needless to say, there is a lot of dough going out but not a whole lot coming in.
Could this a sign of a problem? Maybe. Could this be a sign of insanity, as I keep going back to hit that $1M jackpot and come back with the same result every time (i.e. nothing – see above)? Possibly. Could this be a sign of serious dedication to your craft? Ab-so-fucking-lutely.
But back to the original question, how much is too much to spend on scratch tickets on a daily basis? I think we may have found our answer.