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Feels good to see prediction become a reality

Posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at 10:09 am

General Manager/Editor Ron Schott

General Manager/Editor Ron Schott

This past Sunday, both the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers earned a trip to the NFL’s SuperBowl after winning their respective conference championships.
For those who remember reading my editorial in the January 6 issue of The Vandalia Leader, you might recall me printing my predictions for the playoffs.
Since you are now being reminded, it’s obvious I must have done well if I’m bringing back the topic. If my predictions were off, I might have purposely failed to revisit the issue.
Out of the 10 games, I only failed to correctly predict the winner of the two games featuring the No. 4 and No. 5 teams in each conference.
I had the Houston Texans beating the Kansas City Chiefs along with the Washington Redskins knocking off the Green Bay Packers.
Since the divisional round matchups are determined by who wins the No. 3 versus No. 6 seed games, my bracket was still in good shape.
My prediction then moved the top two seeds in both conferences into their respective championship games and that is what happened.
For the Superbowl, I have the Carolina Panthers beating the Denver Broncos. I also think Payton Manning officially retires regardless of the result.
So should I make a career change from running a newspaper to taking up sports gambling full-time in Las Vegas?
That will never happen. First off, I really did just have some lucky guesses, though they were based on my observations as a faithful NFL fan. And I only published my predictions but didn’t, and never will, put any money on them as I strive to be a good steward of what God has allowed me to have (though I’m not perfect at that goal). Unfortunately, so many people today get stressed out watching sports because they put their hard-working money into bets with the hopes of making more dollars.
In more cases than not, folks lose a lot of money on gambling on games and I don’t see the point in it. At the end of the day, we really don’t know what’s going to happen in these contests. Any “expert” is really just giving their best guess.
While many may not place their bets on sporting contests, many folks get caught up gambling in the state lottery.
A couple of weeks back, you couldn’t avoid coverage of folks spending money on a chance to win the large Powerball jackpot.
Every day, many area residents buy scratch-off tickets and other Lottery tickets with the hopes of turning the gamble into big dollars. I know this because I’m standing behind them waiting for customers to make their lottery purchases while in line.
While I know the lottery is a game with a chance to win money, I cannot help but think what lottery players could do with the same money.
I think of missionaries who are needing financial support to serve people all over the world. I think of how just a few American dollars could pay for a family to get animals to help them provide for their family, It could also help sponsor a kid in another country through organizations like Compassion International. Locally, I think of local food pantries, local service organizations like the Salvation Army, benevolence offerings taken up at churches to help residents pay their utility bills, sending a check in the mail to encourage a local college student, opportunities to help out friends and family members in need, and the list goes on.
By losing money in this way, some people also put themselves in a bind as they don’t have enough money for other things like more food on their table, gas in their car, paying a bill, and more. I know what others do with their money is really none of my business. I agree…
I just hope some day some of these same folks might consider some other options from time to time. The decision could make a difference in their lives and the lives of others. The “pay it forward” approach is a blessing not just to the recipient, but to the giver.