Why You Should Never Give Lottery Tickets As Gifts

A seemingly innocent gift that could have a negative effect
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Ditch the lottery ticket idea this festive season
  • Author:
    Shaun Greer
  • Published:

Where has the year gone? Already, the holiday season is right around the corner, and you’ve probably already started making your gift lists.

What are you doing for the office secret Santa thing this year? What’s your stepson, Wynn getting, even though you haven’t seen him in months? How about the kids?

It’s an expensive time of year and finding gifts for everyone from Bob at work to teacher Stacey isn't easy.

Well, isn’t it great that lotterytickets are the ultimate no-labour gift? They’re also the perfect way to add a little something extra to plain ol’ greeting card, right?

It’s also fun for the recipient to find a lottery ticket amongst their gifts. It’s the chance to fantasise for hours on end about retirement in sunny Spain or paying off all those bills in the new year.

But, don’t forget about the odds. Winning the lottery is a one in a few hundred million chances. On the bright side, the odds of winning just enough change to buy a delicious pumpkin spice latte with whipped cream may well be within reach.

Stop! Think Before You Buy Those Tickets!

Hang on just a second. Who exactly do you plan to buy tickets for? It’s perfectly harmless to give your teenage son an instant lottery ticket, for instance, but you could be encouraging the early-onset of gambling problems.

What’s more, it’s illegal for minors in most American states to buy lottery tickets, which means it’s illegal for them to cash in any winnings, too. So, you’re really not doing them a service at all.

Santa Wants You to Give Responsibly

The holiday season is creeping up at great speed. You just have to get through Black Friday and Cyber Monday and it’s downhill all the way to Christmas, so if you do forget someone on your list, surely grabbing a Powerball ticket or two for them is okay?

This time of year, adverts urge us to drink and drive responsibly, party responsibly, and now we want to urge you to give responsibly this festive season.

That includes not stuffing stockings with scratch cards and lottery tickets. Gambling is illegal if you’re under 18, and sadly, many problem gamblers report that their first experience with gambling was before they turned 18.

We know that not everyone who gambles becomes a problem gambler, yet you need to remember that gambling is a process addiction. Just think about what could happen if you buy Office Bob a ticket without realising that he’s trying to beat a gambling habit.

But, What If the Recipient Wins?

Let’s say you really had no idea what to get Aunty Alice this year. You don’t know her that well and she’s a little difficult to please. So, you grabbed a couple of Powerball tickets and a pretty envelope.

On Christmas morning, Aunty Alice is less than pleased with your rushed and rather thoughtless gift. Until her winning numbers come in.

So, what happens if you’ve given Aunty Alice the winning ticket? You bought it, you should at least get a finger in the pie, right? Wrong.

Legally speaking, a gift is indeed a gift, so you cannot expect a cut of the jackpot. In fact, the winner is under absolutely no legal obligation to share her prize with you or anyone else.

Stay On the Nice List This Festive Season

Now, back to Aunty Alice and her winnings. How resentful do you think you’ll feel if she hits that jackpot? After all, gifts should be given without expecting a thing in return. You could give Aunty Alice’s lottery tickets to her with conditions, but what kind of gift is that?

Even if Aunty Alice fancies throwing a few bills your way as a thank you, remember that the Internal Revenue Service rules actually cap the amount of money that may be gifted tax-free.

By the way, if you receive a lottery ticket as a gift this holiday season, sight it immediately. You’d hate to lose it and see someone else cashing in on your festive fortune, wouldn’t you?

Stay on Santa’s nice list. Give responsibly or just ditch the idea of gifting lottery tickets altogether.

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