Can Politicians Win the Lottery

A look at the legalities of the lottery should politicians want to play.
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Can Politicians Win the Lottery
  • Author:
    William Monroe
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If you take a look at the rules and regulations for various jurisdictions governing who can and cannot play the lottery, you will see that employees of the lottery operator, the regulator, and any supplier, are not allowed to play whatsoever. Some jurisdictions even make it a criminal offence to do so. Retailers are usually banned from buying and redeeming tickets at any terminal they run or control. In fact, anyone who is not at arms-length to either the operator or the regulator is not allow buy a ticket or to claim any prize.

The Legality of Gambling

So what about the people who decide on the legality of allowing gambling in the first place? Those who create, work on, and pass the gambling laws of the land? Yes the politicians who work in ministries, agencies, departments, and bureaus that create and oversee the rules that govern every aspect of the lottery? Can they buy a ticket and actually win?

In many jurisdictions, including those in Europe and North America, there are really no actual regulations that prevent politicians from playing and winning the lottery. Now there may be restrictions to politicians who are directly responsible for gambling. For instance, any politician who is the head or minister of an agency that is overseeing alcohol, drugs, firearms, and gambling, or actually any agency in which gambling is included, would normally not be eligible to play the lottery. Since they are technically responsible for gambling, they are not considered to be at arm’s length.

But if a politician who is the head of an intelligence agency or treasury service or whatever wants to play the lottery, he or she would normally be allowed to. This goes for any other political head of any other agency not aligned to gambling. Although they may work for the government, they have nothing to do with the regulation or operation of any gambling activity, including lotteries.

And the justification for this comes down to the directors and managers of the operator and regulator, who are not politicians. These people are the ones who actually draw up and oversee the rules and regulations, not the politician themselves. So that means only those politicians who have some vested interest in the gambling industry are prohibited from playing.

Leaders and Politicians

Now when it comes to leaders of a country, those presidents and prime ministers, kings and queens, and those under them, are not by official lottery rules, banned or prevented from buying lottery tickets and cashing in the winners. If a head of state wins the jackpot, they can cash it in, stay at their job until the next election, or resign and retire. So if Queen Elizabeth, Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau, or your city’s mayor wanted to buy a lottery ticket in their country, they apparently are allowed to do so. Now the Queen and Trump have money, so they would most likely not be playing the lottery. But normal politicians like Trudeau who are elected leaders of political parties can and probably due buy tickets.

Now, how wrong or right this is for politicians to be able to play and win the lottery, is a matter of personal opinion. We don’t ban wealthy people or celebrities from playing the lottery. We don’t get mad if someone wins the lottery then donates it all to charity. And we don’t have an income limit on who can or can’t buy a ticket. So if you wake up one morning and hear that your president or prime minister suddenly resigned right after getting their lottery ticket validated, don’t be mad, be happy. A new election is on the way and someone better might get into power.

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