The biggest lottery wins in US history are for eye-watering amounts, and the money involved is enough to dwarf the earnings of top Hollywood celebrities. Almost every American will have dreamed of a big lottery win, with one lucky ticket enough to secure an utterly life-changing amount of money. The lottery is ingrained in American culture, existing in perfect tandem with the American ideal that anyone can benefit from the wealth of the country.
Lottery fever is not restricted to the USA. The US lotto is not enough for some people, as some punters even bet on the outcome of lotteries from other countries around the world. For example, you can bet on the Irish lottery results at Paddy Power, and there is also the option to bet on the outcome of the oldest established lottery in the world, Spain’s famous La Primitiva. Put simply, lottery games are a global phenomenon, hands down.
How though, does this link to the American dream?
The American dream was first coined by writer James Truslow Adams in his book Epic of America (1931). In the book, he describes: “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”
In modern times, the American dream is understood as the ideal that anyone can make it in America, even if they come from very little. Whilst Adams perhaps meant that any American could prosper through hard work, his ideal does not discount the notion that the average Joe could prosper through good fortune. Any American could win a staggering amount of money whilst playing the lottery. Whether they come from a low-income neighbourhood or a mansion in the suburbs is irrelevant; all that matters is that they have a winning ticket. In that sense, the lottery embodies the level playing field that Adams so vividly describes in his best-known piece of work.
There is money to be won. A LOT of it
Few can argue that the amounts dished out in the lottery are life-changing. Unbelievably, the record lottery jackpot in the United States stands at $1.58billion, a massive win enjoyed by three Americans in January 2016. For reference, superstar Canadian rapper Drake is estimated to have a net worth of around $150million. The record lottery win saw three people from Florida, California and Tennessee earn more than that amount in a split second. With such prizes on offer, it is little wonder that the lottery continues to capture the attention of the American public so many years after it first launched onto the scene.
Though some Americans may have more money than others, the United States is a country that prides itself on the fact that anyone can make it with hard work and the right amount of luck. Perhaps that is why the game is so popular, as we often see regular Americans given that lucky break to earn amounts of money that must have been beyond their wildest dreams.