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Should the rich & famous be allowed to play the lottery?

So many celebrities chance their luck on the lotto with even A- listers like Kim Kardashian, Hugh Jackman, George Clooney, and Snooki joining the fray. There aren’t any reports of Robin Thicke buying tickets yet, but we’ve got a feeling those Beetlejuice pants are gonna show up in a lottery queue sometime soon.

Every time a story comes up about celebrities playing the lottery it’s met with a healthy amount of public outrage – don’t these bozos think they’ve got enough already? In response, their fans flock out to defend them – what’s your damn problem, it’s a public game.

We are going to look at the reasons, justifications, and downright excuses on both sides of the burning question – should the rich and famous be allowed to play the lotto?

On the ‘yes’ side:

Material Girl

Madonna, the high-priestess of pop herself, is known to be a keen fan of the Italian SuperEnalotto draw. Maybe it’s her Italian roots that drew her to the game, or maybe she’s pretty good at following her gut feeling – but whatever it was, it paid off. While on a 2012 tour, the Material Girl ended up winning a cool €120,000, but no one was complaining when she announced that she was donating the money to a school-building program in Malawi. Way to go Madge!

Heart of Gold

Another high profile player who falls firmly into the ‘rich’ category is Tom Crist, a Calgary businessman who was worth over a billion dollars in 2012. We don’t know his reasons for playing the lotto, but it seems that greed wasn’t part of the equation – when he won $40 million in a Lotto Max draw, he donated the entire amount to charity. He didn’t even mention winning to his daughter, who heard about his big win on the news. She was quoted as saying, “I heard he donated it all. I wasn’t surprised.” She was immensely proud of her father, and it shows that even those rich folks can have more heart than they would admit to.

On the ‘no’ side:

They Just Can’t Get Enough

Paris Hilton, who was born as an heiress to a huge family fortune, is said to have made $2.5 billion from her perfume range alone, and earns an extra $10 million a year from other product sales. For an appearance at a social event, she can command upwards of $300,000, and has her own chain of luxury hotels. This would lead many to assume that she had done pretty well for herself, and that she could take her foot off the gas. However, this plucky entrepreneur never rests, and was seen buying 1500 SuperEnalotto tickets (do they know something we don’t?) for the €30 million jackpot. What’s more, she graciously stated that if she were to win, no less than 10% would be donated to charity. Awesome! However, much to the disappointment of the other SuperEnalotto players and charities around the world, she wasn’t destined to win.

Get Rich or Die Trying

The American rapper 50 Cent could say this is the story of his life. In January 2016, when the Powerball jackpot was getting close to breaking its record, he saw his dream of getting rich crashed to the grounds as only three of his five numbers matched the winning ones. This was a few months after he filed for bankruptcy. But, the rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson III kept on trying. Although winning the lottery was not in the books for him, six months ago he managed to get discharged from bankruptcy after paying off the five-year plan early using $8.7m of his own money and $13.65m he received in a recent settlement of a malpractice lawsuit against his attorneys.