Todd forgive me if this in inappropriate. Church and lottery

lottocalgal's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg

Hello LP family,

I want to know your thoughts on this one.  Yeah  gambling is a sin and yet I play the lottery. 

Okay thats over-now here's my question.

I plan to give some of the money to my church after my win, (like I do now, except the amounts are so small, its insignificant.)  But since you are heavily taxed on your lottery wins and the gifts  you give to others, would it be appropriate to request the charitable reciept from the church in order to write it off  on taxes?

It sounds kind of blasphemous,   and yet it kindof sounds okay.  I'm not sure, because the year end bulletin says to hold off on submitting the taxes until they send you some kind of tithing form.

This is my first year of being a "true" member of a church so I'm not sure.

I guess when Jack Whittacker and those guys gave all that money away, they got some kind of reciept or write off.

Thanks all.

rdgrnr's avatar - nw barkeep.jpg

Matthew 6: 1-4

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your father which is in heaven.

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

That thine alms may be in secret: and thy father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

temptustoo's avatar - cat anm.gif


Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
In response to lottocalgal

The topic is fine.  The only thing I take issue with is your assertion that gambling is a sin.  I do not believe it is.  In fact, the Bible does not say that gambling is bad in any way.  The Bible makes mention of "Lots", which are a form of lotteries used in biblical times. 

Seeing as the Bible mentions the use of lotteries in the day, and does not say anything negative about gambling in general, I believe gambling is fine.  However, like anything in life, it must be done in moderation, lest it become a vice.

Jack-C's avatar - us
In response to Todd

Todd is correct.  Gambling is not a sin, but we are to be good stewards of the money God gives to us (all that we get, actually).  And getting a deduction on your tax return for the money you give the church is not a sin, either!!

dr65's avatar - black panther.jpg

'Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render unto God what is God's'.

Caesar created the deduction...use it.

Personally, I'd feel better using it after giving the full 10% to the church.

Todd, you're right. There is NO sin in gambling. The sin is excess....excess to a point where it is interfering with other priorities: Mortgage, utilities,

food, car payment, etc. etc. etc.

Jack-C's avatar - us
In response to dr65

I Agree!

Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg

A lot of good points are being made here. Todd is right about moderation, that's for sure. When I worked in casinos I saw a coworker crying because they had no baby food in the house and their husband had bet $5,000 on a Super Bowl (it lost).

This is a story I wrote as an assignment for a writers course. Tghose in the "Bible Belt" will get a real feel for this, I'm thinking espeicaaly triggs and rgdrnr. Convenience marts in Kentucky sell discoubt cigarettes, booze and lottery tickets and their windows and bulleting vboards are peppered with notices of church meetings and revivals.

Here's the story:

Pastor John Ezra was a third generation preacher. In Kentucky, as in most of the South and bordering states, the clergy preached fire and brimstone sermons. In a tobacco and distillery economy some subjects were taboo. This was a given. Because of this, most preachers had something besides tobacco or drinking that they got very passionate about. Pastor John Ezra was no different, with him his passionate sermons were on gambling.

     The church he pastored was facing some difficulties. Membership had dropped off, families have moved away. The area was experiencing a decline in population. One of the regulars in his church was Tommy Finley. Tommy was there almost every Sunday and enjoyed the fire and brimstone sermons, seeing some valid points in them -despite Tommy=s love of playing the lotto most every week.  Tommy had been involved with race horses and casinos in the past and knew a little more about gambling than the average person.

     Pastor Jon and Tommy had met for lunch and were discussing a tobacco mart down the road. In Kentucky tobaccos stores are a very bi business, as even with the latest tax increases the tax per pack and per carton still made Kentucky cigarettes less expensive than the cost in surrounding states. These stores sold discount cigarettes and other tobacco products, discount liquor, and lottery tickets. This was on top of the other knick- knacks common to convenience stores along highways.

     "You gotta love it", Tommy said as he looked at the Pastor.
      "What's that", asked Pastor John?
     "Well, just look around you. We see cigarettes, liquor, flyers for horse farms that raise race horses, lottery tickets, and look on the window. Flyers for upcoming events at two Baptist churches."
 "You don't see that as kind of ironic, or see the humor in it?", asked Tommy.
     "Gladly take in tobacco money or liquor money from your congregation and preach against the lottery?"
     "It's gambling", said Pastor John.
      Tommy said, "Look, I'm not talking about casinos and enticing people to play their whole paycheck on video poker, trying to win an $1100.00 Royal Flush. Unlikely that would change anyone's life - but the casino owners. As they make more and more. I'm talking about working stiffs playing a buck or two on a lottery ticket because it gives them just a little bit of hope. You see this everyday in casinos, when people walk out, most of them look angry. Of course they do, most of them lost. When people leave a lotto place, especially when there's a huge jackpot, they walk out with hope on their face."
     "It's still gambling, A Pastor John said.
     "I'm not saying it isn't," remarked Tommy. AI=m saying far better to risk a dollar or two trying to change your life than risking paycheck after paycheck to get even. Read a lottery ticket, the remark about proceeds from the lottery benefit all Kentuckians. Proceeds from the casinos go to the casino corporations, most out of state. Big difference."
     Pastor John said, "So you're opposed to casinos but pro-lottery."
     "Not exactly", said Tommy. "'m just saying casinos promise a bunch of spin off business. Then after they're up and operating, they open their own restaurants which takes away from the businesses in town, to the point they eventually close."
     "The thing is", said Tommy, Aif three people from your church were to come in here right now, and one buys cigarettes, one buys a bottle of booze, and one buys a lottery ticket, you=d preach to the one with a lottery ticket and say hello to the other two."
     "Well yeah", said Pastor John.
They had finished lunch and Tommy said he wanted to get one more cup of coffee and make some phone calls. Pastor John said he had a few stops to make and went out to his car and left.
Tommy got another coffee and grabbed a newspaper, noticing that the Powerball jackpot was
$75,000,000. He remembered the old adage about how even a blind hog could find an acorn every now and then and decided to spend a couple of dollars to benefit all Kentuckians.

     Powerball is played by picking five out of 53 numbers in the top box of a powerball slip, and 1 number of 42 on the bottom. Hitting the five of five on the top portion wins $100,000. Adding the winning powerball number to those five takes the prize up by millions, literally.

     Tommy chose five numbers, and the powerball number. He repeated one of the first five as the powerball number, just on a hunch. He thought about how much he=d give to Pastor John and his church if he won, but to do that the media would make a big affair out of it. Not only that, the taxes would really be sticky. He couldn=t give that much away anonymously.  Tommy came up with a better idea. H gave the clerk three dollars and said, ACan you play this same ticket three times?@.  The clerk said, ASure@ as she knew people always played tickets for other people, especially of they were out of state people. As she handed him the tickets and said, AGood luck@ he gave one back to her and said, AThis is for you, I want someone rooting for those numbers@. Tommy thought 75 million for one person was a bit much, splitting it would be better.
She thanked him and he left, taking the other two tickets.

     The Saturday night of the drawing, Tommy watched it on TV and one by one the numbers were selected. 7 - 24 - 27- 29 - 41 and the powerball, 24. Tommy checked his tickets. (So did the store clerk at her home!) Then he checked and rechecked.
Tommy didn't  sleep much that night, neither did that store clerk!  He made it a point to get to Pastor John=s church on time, sat there and listened to sermon on the lottery. He kind of had hunch that's what it would be on, as Pastor John often used those lunches as ideas for the next Sunday=s sermon.
     When it came time for the offering basket to be passed around and it came to Tommy, he took out a $20 bill and wrapped it around the other winning lottery ticket and dropped them in the basket....

As you can tell this was writtne awhile ago and has some of the at the time lottery vs casino issues in it, just pass over that .

When the river boats were planned in some areas and found a lot of oppossitioin, some of it turned out to be from local churches feeling their bingo games would be threatened. Speakss volumes.

Had a little troulbe converting this form word so pardon the typos.

lottocalgal's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg

Yeah but noone really responded to my question. (well Jack kind of did)

I'm talking about  asking the church for the receipt for a "charitabe" donation.  I feel uncle Sam would care less that you SAY you gave ten thousand dollars to the church.  In order to write that off as a deduction youd need proof. 

Woudl you feel funny asking the church for a receipt?

rdgrnr's avatar - nw barkeep.jpg
In response to lottocalgal

There's nothing at all wrong with asking for a receipt. Anytime you can restrict the government from confiscating more of your money you should do it without hesitation.

The church won't be concerned about giving a receipt to you. That's more money you get to keep and possibly give to them down the road which is a good thing for all.

dopey7719's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg

I think it is just fine to do that.  You could always just ask your pastor or an elder of the church.

rdgrnr's avatar - nw barkeep.jpg
In response to Coin Toss

Hey CT,

Do we have to wait for the sequel to find out if the Pastor kept it or did like the Salvation Army and refused it?


Even if it were in the bible, doesn't make it a fact.

Personally, I don't believe everything I read. I use common sense.

You never know, the Flying Spaghetti monster may say it's OK. 

Jack-C's avatar - us
In response to lottocalgal

The church is REQUIRED to give you a "record of giving" at the end of the calendar year.  Some churches send them out quarterly.  If you drop CASH into the offering, then they have no way of knowing who gave it, but if you write a check, they will send the statement to the name and address on the check. You need to keep the statement they sent you and your check (both are required now by IRS) for your tax records.

savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho

of course you can ask for a reciept. Why donations to charities is deductable is because if they wheren't less money would go to charities, and the gov would have to provide more services. the gov cant provide the work charities do at as good a price as churches.


you are actually saving taX PAYERS MONEY  by donating to a charity. and if you look at it as paying your taxes to  SERVICE WHERE YOU GET TO DECIDE how the money is spent , then it is just and right, that dont have to double pay the tax money. ie once to the church, and then again to the taxman.

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luckyshoes's avatar - leaf
In response to dr65

Well said , DR65

mjwinsmith's avatar - moon
In response to Todd

Amen Todd............

Thank you


PackMan's avatar - 8ball

if gambling is a sin then what about all those old farts playing bingo at the local church??


sully16's avatar - sharan
In response to PackMan

a lot of those old farts go home with each other (wink wink)Embarassed

pepper1's avatar - batman38
In response to PackMan

Most of the old farts from my church are in the store playing with me. The pastor keep telling us to not play, but when

we do our meet and greet they alway want to know did you get that number last night. First Sunday one approach

to tell me she forgot to play her number on the way to church. The preacher favorites girl buy tickets If anybody

won the jackpot he wouldn't turn it down. I just told him I gambling he said I go to the casnio just for those

little sauage(yeah right)

jrosina's avatar - character catafly.jpg
In response to dr65

I Agree!You nailed it dr, as far as I am concern, never believed it to be a sin!  I agree that one must never take funds from the family well being to play the lottery, That's a big no-no!  Food, light bill, Telephone bill, mortgage, Car paymets! No!

jarasan's avatar - new patrick.gif


That scam is well thought out,  but....................................I think I'll join! Jack-in-the-BoxUniversal religion is good for your wallet and meditation in the clinky.

There is an underground economy in the US that laughs at the IRS.  You have the IRS chasing $10 contributions by small time cheats or it could be:  you ain't buying healthcare..................or you claimed used underwear. They don't see the forest thru the trees.   While there is literally billions upon billions leaving the country in cash for drugs,   loans to the World bank,  and being sent 'home' with out paying a cent of tax.   This taxation system is crap,  the people that run it are crap,  because they can target people, industries,  and litigate to waste tax monies.   The IRS needs to eliminated and replaced with consumption tax and flat tax,  and clamp down the FED.


I'm not religious, but spiritual to an extent.

It's my opinion that because it's not affecting your daily life, like eating away at your mortgage, bills..etc, doesn't mean it's not a problem.

Correct me If I'm wrong, but based on what I've learned concerning the Bible, the act itself is destructive to the fabric of the being involved. I recall the temple being the body, and how it can become corrupt. It may not show right away but eventually, that lifestyle will fail.

The seed is also mentioned a lot. It's the seed you sow that determines the outcome. A home is only as good as the foundation it's on.

Would Jesus gamble?

What did Jesus do when he saw folks using his church as a business area, to sell products? Sure it wasn't gambling, but it sends a clear message of how even the slightest deviance from the rules can affect the user.

The universal rules are there for a reason. They are the only ones that work in the long run. If one can deduct the organized religous aspects to all this, the beauty of it would be more prominent.

Is gambling a sin?

I don't know. Maybe.

Again, would Jesus gamble?




Hermanus104's avatar - 5027340606 1e360c8038_s.jpg

If I do win the lottery I plan to tithe my winnings. I would have never thought of asking for a charitable receipt from the church, mostly because it would never have occurred to me. Then again, I've played the lottery only twice this year and both times were Pick-3, so I would be donating only $50.

Hermanus104's avatar - 5027340606 1e360c8038_s.jpg

You can glean from this whatever you want.

I went to the gas station outside of my apartment to buy a soda. I saw a man getting out of a car, and the place where the front plate would be says, "Jesus is the Answer" in Spanish. (In Georgia only a back plate is required). After I checked out I saw why he had come: to buy some scratch-off tickets.

rdgrnr's avatar - nw barkeep.jpg
In response to Hermanus104

Watch it Hermanus. I knowed you wudn't from down here when you said plate. Down here a plate is somethin you eat off of.  You mean a tag.

And the guy with the tag buying a lottery ticket? He might build a church with his winnings. You bought a soda though. That's gonna rot your teeth out requiring drilling out the teeth using up electricity which is depleting our fossil fuels for future generations, necessitating more nuclear power plants which could explode sending the earth into a nightmarish nuclear winter and thereby wiping out life as we know it on this planet for eons and eons.

Or was it a diet soda?

jrosina's avatar - character catafly.jpg
In response to rdgrnr

HA!...rd, you are a special kind of earthling!!

4End of thread (4 pages)

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