SONGSOPTOK: Do you buy lottery tickets? If yes, then how frequently? What is your motivation for buying them?

SHAMPA DHAR:   Yes. Very Infrequently. Less than once a year. I have no other motivation, but to fit in. Seriously. When there is a group in the work-place that buys lottery tickets, and want you to join in, you do so. Just to fit in.

SONGSOPTOK:  Have you ever won a lottery? If yes, then can you describe what your feelings were? If not, do you feel disappointed every time you lose?

SHAMPA DHAR:   I once won a raffle as a kid. I got some inexpensive toy or something. I was overjoyed. Since then, I have never won anything, never expect to win, so there is never any feeling of disappointment at losing.

SONGSOPTOK:  Why, according to you, people buy lottery tickets, especially where the probability of winning is infinitely small? Is it hope, greed, lust or is it more of an adventure?

SHAMPA DHAR: It is definitely “hope” for people who are financially stranded. For others I think, it is more of a game, let’s participate and see what happens. So, maybe a little bit of a feeling of adventure.

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you think that buying lottery tickets is rational? If so, what is the rationality behind it?

SHAMPA DHAR: No, I don’t think it is rational. I have never calculated the permutation and combinations behind it, but I am sure chances of winning are infinitely small.

SONGSOPTOK:  Can buying lottery tickets be compared to other forms of betting and gambling? Please explain your answer.

SHAMPA DHAR: Not really. Buying a lottery ticket is a very passive act, where you invest a very small sum of money, for something in which you have no active control, Luck has it all. In other forms of betting and gambling, you have to use your intelligence, do a lot of research, study the probabilities, choose your stance with care, so there is a lot of effort invested in it. Apart from the fact that the quantity of money invested is also much larger. So, when you lose, it hurts that much more.

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you think lotteries are immoral in the sense that they tempt people to ‘waste’ money? Do you personally look at it as wastage?

SHAMPA DHAR:  Nope.  And nope.

SONGSOPTOK:  Recent studies designate buying lottery tickets as compulsive buying. Do you agree with this view? Have you witnessed this in your own life? Would you consider it to be a form of addiction?

SHAMPA DHAR: I have seen people who are rather compulsive buyers. But I do not thing that the degree of compulsion is strong enough to be called an addiction. It is more like a force of habit. Like a person who hits the bar every Thursday night, at “Happy Hour”, is not necessarily an alcoholic.

SONGSOPTOK:  All over the world the mega lotteries have become important social phenomena, surrounded by a lot of hype. What is your opinion about that?

SHAMPA DHAR: It is just another phenomenon. Not to be taken seriously. I have yet to come across a person, who has been financially ruined by buying lottery tickets. So, I do not consider it an addiction or a social evil. Just another form of entertainment or amusement.

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you watch the live draws on the television? Do you ever speculate on the number that will roll out next? How do you feel when you get it right? Have you ever guessed all the numbers and regretted not buying a ticket?

SHAMPA DHAR: I sometimes do watch the live draws, only if it comes at the end of the news. Never speculated on the numbers. I have never been much of a speculator.  So no regrets, at not buying a ticket

SONGSOPTOK:  What would you do if you won the Powerball or the EuroMillions tomorrow? We would like to know everything you would do if you actually won a lottery.

SHAMPA DHAR:  I am financially very conservative. So, the first thing I would do would be to pay off all my debts and secure my future. Then put away a large chunk for Travel mostly. And my son. And only after that, give the rest away to charities.


We sincerely thank you for your time and hope we shall have your continued support.
Aparajita Sen

(Editor: Songsoptok)


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