Give Now

Investing vs. Gambling

Where are you investing?

If you or someone you know has lost money in the stock market, you may be wondering if lotteries would be a better investment. After all, don’t both involve risk? I’ve been asked this question numerous times by well-meaning Christians. The truth is, risk is present when you invest in the stock market and when you gamble, but consider this: during the 20th century, the average stock market return was about 5%, and any rate of return is better than zero, which is what essentially all but a few lottery players will receive. In one multi-state lottery, the odds of winning the grand prize were almost 200 million to one, which means that the lottery ticket you buy doesn’t significantly improve your chances of winning. In fact, one example compared the probability of winning the lottery with one ticket to picking the correct 12 inches of a line that stretched the 240,000-mile distance between the Earth and the moon!

For most people, the return on investment represented by a lottery ticket is nothing more than the paper on which it’s printed. Yet, so many people buy them week after week after week. Proverbs 27:12 says, “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Christians should never take the money God’s entrusted to them and waste it on gambling. God’s more than able to meet our needs. When we begin putting our trust in chance rather than in Him, it’s time to reevaluate our priorities.

Now if you’ve been blessed with My MoneyLife, I invite you to discover the Crown Stewardship Podcasts. They focus on helping you find freedom in your finances and career. You can subscribe on Spotify and iTunes, or listen at