What A Christian Should Do With Lottery Winnings

Let’s face it, everybody, and I mean everybody, will play Powerball today. With a potential $1.5 billion dollar pot up for grabs, everyone is dreaming of what they want to do with their new found riches. The article by Curtis Bennett puts it best when he says that there is no mathematical reason to play Powerball but perhaps there is nothing wrong with dreaming. When I read through the press, I see so many articles regarding what one should do if they win the Powerball from an investment and personal finance perspective, but nothing on what a Christian should do. Why not? Some estimate that upwards of 300,000,000 people will play Powerball. Since America still claims to be 70% Christian, that means 210,000,000 Christians will have a potential golden ticket. It also means that secretly, many pastors, deacons, saints and friends are standing in line praying that God will bless them with the winning numbers.

I guess I must assume, since I have not read any materials on what a Christian should do if they win the Powerball, it means either many Christians are ashamed to admit that they will be playing Powerball and/or many Christians believe that playing the Powerball is a sin. Let me just go on record and say, buying a Powerball ticket does not buy one a ticket to hell. Of course, from a biblical perspective, if buying a Powerball ticket is an addiction for you or is getting in the way of your stewardship and caring for your family responsibilities, then you might be in sin (Proverbs 13:11, Ecclesiastes 5:10). Besides, if playing a game of chance is a sin, they we’d all better stay away from the rigged amusement park games where we spend $50 bucks to win a $2 teddy! It’s a stewardship issue above all else.

Anyway, back to the point of me writing – here are 8 things a Christian should do when winning the Powerball:

  1. Pay Your Tithes. Of course you knew it was coming, give God his 10% off the top. No Christian should complain about paying 10% of their Powerball to the church of which they have been a member for a long time, especially since Uncle Sam will get his 45% tithe upfront. I don't think it's appropriate for a Christian to conclude that it's too much money to give to their local church, assuming they would not have the expertise to handle that kind of windfall. Well, I have news for you, neither will you if you win tonight. Allow your church to do what you should do, hire an A-team of advisors to make sure they practice good stewardship.  Just think about all the incredible new ministry that can be done by the good-hearted people in your local church with your winnings.

  2. Pay Off All Your Debts. Isn’t this why you are really playing Powerball? This seems obvious, but just get rid of all the stress of having bills. The minute you are a Powerball winner, you have the ability to live debt free. This is a lifestyle the bible encourages.

  3. Hire The A-Team. The fact of the matter is that you don’t know how to live wealthy and how to perpetuate wealth. You would be very wise to hire an advisor team, that includes an estate attorney, tax accountant, estate accountant, investment advisor, insurance agent, and general counsel. You need all of these players to make sure you are doing the right things to establish a legacy for your family. Your goal is to be like Abraham and use your wealth to set up the wealth of a nation. You will need a will, directives, all kinds of trusts and sophisticated vehicles to pass your wealth down like a boss!

  4. Bless Your Family And Closest Friends. I know you don't want people calling you and I'm sure you'll be inundated with requests from every needy person in America but don’t forget those people who have been there for you. I’ve seen it time and time again, people get a few dollars in their pocket and act like they don’t know anybody that helped them.

  5. Donate To A Christian College. Why is this important? It's very important that if you believe in Christ that you sow into the institutions that are creating future Christian leaders. Christian colleges do a wonderful job but in today's increasingly polarized environment against Christians, they could really use your financial support. The Bible says, that where you can do good you should. The spirit of charity and generosity are Christian ideals that would bring so much glory to Christ (Galatians 6:10).

  6. Pay It Forward With Random Acts Of Kindness. A great way to show Christian charity is to do random acts of kindness now that you have the means to bless people with money raining down from heaven. Can you imagine the lives you could impact positively for Christ? Jesus gave his life, you only have to give a few bucks to make your own impact. Poverty is the greatest social ill of our day. In fact, I would say, it is the civil rights issue of our day. Most people that come to church are usually praying about a problem that ties back to the lack of money – healthcare, debt, education and so on. Yes, people need Jesus but they also need Jesus’ people to help them live a better life here before they get to heaven.

  7. Treat Yo’ Self. I admit, I learned this wonderful principal from Tom, on Parks and Recreation, but you need to have some fun. Get that car you always wanted and buy the house of your dreams. Live without guilt that you are blessed. Lydia was a wealthy woman in the New Testament and she never apologized for her wealth, she just lived her life as you should do yours.

  8. Start A Business. Guess what, you will get bored spending your money, so you need to stay productive. After you travel the world, do something fun and influence the culture. You could start a film company and hire the best directors and talent to make a ground breaking Christian film.  The sky's the limit! Why not do something to affect the culture and have fun doing it? Perhaps, there's a great idea, some new app or technology that you always wanted to see come to the forefront. Now that you have unlimited investment capital, why not do something great so that you don't waste your time sitting around counting your money?

In conclusion, my guidance is my mantra Wealth Building For Kingdom Building. Make sure that you discover the purpose for your money and don't let it be wasted by spending it all on yourself. For more tips and ideology on how you can use your money for good, read my book, "Seven Wealth Building Secrets: Your Guide to Money and Meaning." I hope you find these tips helpful.