This past Friday, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media caught fire with lottery fever.  People who don’t even usually play the lottery plunked down $1 or more for a chance to try to get a slice of the record breaking $640 million jackpot.  According to, although no one in Massachusetts won more than $39 million worth of tickets were bought since the jackpot began accumulating back on January 24th.  Mega Millions is a lottery that spans over 12 states; one can only image how much revenue this past drawing brought in.  Holding a ticket Friday night that could mean a better life got me thinking about what people do with their winnings and our discussion in class about how much money benefits low income countries.  We live in a society where one person could with one ticket could potentially wipe out disease and hunger in a small country; would it ever happen?  Are human altruistic by nature, or is this a learned “habit” we have formed?  Is health care just a mark of the “haves” and the “have not”s in the world (like the brand of car you can afford?) 

1 comment
  1. noakrawczyk said:

    I constantly ask myself this in class because while it’s easy for us to talk about the duty of wealthy governments to give money to low-income countries for medicine, we never talk about the duty of individuals to give money to low-income communities for medicine. I guess the reason we rely on governments is that humans are not altruistic by nature, and so there has to be a representative body to assure the right to health is provided to as many as possible by distributing funds. But as we’ve seen throughout this course money is not the only barrier to access to medicine. There has to be efficient government, infrastructure, planning, and policies in order to assure the money is used to create sustainable health solutions. But whether or not it is natural for us to seek rights for all, the new concept of Human Rights that has evolved this century has made these rights an accepted part of human nature and indeed has the potential to improve the quality of life for people around the world.

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