Lottery, the ultimate drug

Are you a doctor of our society?
You keeping throwing diagnoses after diagnoses!
Do you have cure for any?

No, madam. I’m not a social doctor. I’m just chronicling the things I see around. Not sure there is any on the shelf cure. Social diseases don’t have any doctor here. Those who suffer from them are left to Darwinian evolution to deal with them.

Prostitution is huge here, but who cares! Alcoholism is rampant, mental diseases are increasing, social disorientation is growing, juvenile pregnancy, and many more ugly things… but their victims are on their own. That’s natural!

Life is a lotto here, and here am I writing about lottery as a drug which is destroying my country.

In the city of Kpalime, in the south west of Togo, singlehandedly lottery has destroyed the economy, family structures and the youth of the town. I’m talking about a city of 80.000 people, besieged by alcoholism and gambling.

The father plays daily. The mom plays 3 times a week. The kids forfeit their pocket money to play. A field visit I’ve done in the city 3 years ago, showed that an average a family play lottery up to 45% of their monthly revenue.

Kids would go hungry because the mom on her way to the market tried her chance with the food money, but lost. Kids would be thrown out of school because the father played lottery with the school fees. The kids would go to eat wild fruits or steal because they have played lottery with their pocket money.

And it’s literally the whole city which is playing that way. Almost no one has a saving account in the city. Either they gambled with it, or they gave it to the pastor in the church to pray for them to win lottery!

Other cities in the country are in similar situation. Villages are less impacted but the lottery drug had become a national addiction.

On the street and in bars, you see people going around selling ‘Sure’ numbers. The most popular newspaper in Togo is the lottery forecast tables sheets. You see men spending hours studying the numbers.

People would use nightly dreams about winning numbers to play. Some play their friends car number, or go see the Vodun priest to ask for numbers.

The husband of my big sister was the most handsome guy in town. My sister was a model. The guy was addicted to lottery, and regardless of his upper class revenue at the time, he ruined his life and the one of his family on lottery and died in poverty a premature death.

Except Muslims to whom Islam forbids money games, any other household in Togo is touched by the lottery drug.

Why am I calling lottery a drug?

Simple because it’s addictive. It’s almost impossible to stop playing once you got hooked. It’s better not to get started. Like alcohol his twin brother, people addicted to lottery suffer from psychological confusion, restlessness, agitation, nervousness, and panic if they could not play. When unable to play, they have to either sink themselves into alcohol to relief themselves or more worrisome they go borrow money or sell their car, their land, their house to be able to play.

It’s not uncommon here to see an addicted player sell their bike, their car, or family property to either reimburse creditors or to be able play more. They are helpless.

In the meantime, the national lottery company is one of the most profitable company happily ruining the lives of families and the country while smiling to the bank.

Now with online gambling, the lottery drug is even more insidious.

Some countries have forbidden lottery, some have put strict restrictions on it.

Here in my country, the poor are the main victim of the lottery, but the middle class too. Addiction to gambling might be the first source of household poverty in Togo.

There is no hospital or doctor where the addicted could seek help. They are left to premature death. Yes, lottery addicts have short life span like alcoholics.

Is lottery addiction a huge issue in your country too?

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>