G. Jeffrey Chambers III, a self-made millionaire from Palm Beach, FL, has been playing the lottery for five months now. His motives, though, are different from those of most lottery participants.
"I simply want to win so that some other poor bastard doesn't. I don't need the money, I'm filthy rich already. In fact, I probably wouldn't even cash the check if I did win." Mr. Chambers feels that he has conquered the world of business; his new conquest will be trying to take money out of the hands of people who could really use it.
His plan is simple. Seeing that he has more money than most, he buys 5,000 lottery tickets every week, thereby increasing his chances of winning. Sooner or later, he says, "I will win this thing, and the joy of knowing that I snatched that money from someone who really needs it will be rapturous."
Mr. Chambers' plan has sent shockwaves through the Florida Lottery system. Demonstrations are popping up everywhere, with the participants calling for a ban on the rich playing the lottery. Says Billy Bob Jones of Miami: "There is almost nothing left of my paycheck once I buy cigarettes, booze, and porn. I can buy one, maybe two tickets, how can I compete with jerks like him?"
Lottery officials don't expect any sweeping changes to take place in the current system, which allows anyone to play the lottery. "This is a democracy we live in," Lottery Commissioner Paul Smith says, "and everyone, rich or poor, has the right to exert their power and influence to unfairly disadvantage others. It's what makes this country great. Besides, guys like Chambers bring more money into the lottery system than thousands of the losers who normally play, and that's good for the people of Florida."