The Invisible Scratch-and-Win Card

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Elaine Sciolio's article about French attitudes on money and philosophy is bursting with great stuff, but this is my favorite part:

On Thursday, a widely reported TNS-Sofres poll of more than 1,000 people concluded that 39 percent of the French think that it is possible to get rich by winning the lottery; only 40 percent believe that getting rich can happen through work.

But the French believe—correctly—that you have a better chance of landing a high-salary job than you do of getting a Wonka golden ticket.

NEXT: From a Whisper to a Scream

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  1. Cue invisible lottery ticket LOLcat.

  2. Weigel, where is your anti-McCain post about how he wants to repeal the AMT and veto pork spending?

  3. Given that hard work is illegal in France, the lottery might be the better way.

  4. hard work never killed anyone; but in some places it is illegal

  5. depending on how the survey was worded, i don’t see what’s noteworthy about this. the word ‘possibly’ could apply to winning the lottery, because it IS possible to win the lottery, even though the chances are very low. I doubt they asked respondents if they thought they were ‘likely’ to win.

  6. Of course it’s “possible” to get rich playing the lottery. It’s also “possible” to get rich by eating cow feces.

  7. x,y,
    um, how?

  8. Of course it’s “possible” to get rich playing the lottery. It’s also “possible” to get rich by eating cow feces.

    um, how?

    Pay-per-view!

  9. Step 1: Eat crow feces
    Step 2: ????
    Step 3: Profit!

  10. I dunno, Fear Factor (is that still on?) only offered $50,000 for eating disgusting stuff the few times I saw it. That doesn’t count as “rich.” Nice windfall, sure, but hardly rich.

  11. cfg,

    Don’t be stupid. Cow patties are the money feces. There’s no profit to be found in that crow crap.

  12. For a country that made snails and horseburger into delicacies, crow feces doesn’t seem that absurd.

  13. Actually, civets poop the money feces.

    It’s true – you can look it up!

  14. On Thursday, a widely reported TNS-Sofres poll of more than 1,000 people concluded that 39 percent of the French think that it is possible to get rich by winning the lottery; only 40 percent believe that getting rich can happen through work.

    What exactly is the error that the French are making?

    I know for a fact, that I will never get rich by merely working hard at my job. I can be well off, but never rich. Now if “work” includes things like inventing something or if I can think of some essential product or service to provide. Or making some really good investments. But I would wager that those types of things aren’t what people think of when asked if they can get rich by working.

    If I win the lottery, I could surely become rich.

    That also assumes that there is some way to quantify when someone can be considered “rich”

  15. I agree with ChicagoTom. There’s a reason it’s called “working class” and not “future rich people class.”

  16. I agree with ChicagoTom. There’s a reason it’s called “working class” and not “future rich people class.”

    Exactly — I dunno where people get the idea that hard work will produce anything other than a modest to above average living. And in many cases it only becomes above average if you have the good sense to live below or at your means and not above it as so many people tend to do.

    Merely working hard is not the path to riches. For that you usually need a combination of smarts, good luck, good timing and sometimes a good connection to get things started.

  17. I feel the need to add…

    Not that there is anything wrong with hard work or a modest/above average lifestyle.

    Many people (myself included) are quite content with “only the means” of not having to live paycheck to paycheck

  18. Which is higher: the odds of getting rich by winning the lottery, or of getting rich in journalism?

  19. That article is hilarious. I thought I was reading The Onion, before I realized… it’s too funny to be parody. It just has to be true.

  20. I CAN HS 7 FIGYUR NET WORTH?/??

  21. We need the illusion that hard work can get you somewhere because otherwise few would work so hard. In all reality, hard work will only make a family wealthy over the course of 3 to 4 generations, assuming a continuing work ethic, fiscal discipline and a modicum of intelligence.

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