Language is a Virus: “Luck Out, Cash In” Conundrum

So I see this lottery touch screen kiosk thing in a store and its big blurb is: “Luck Out, Cash In”. Okay I know in United States & Canada colloquial speech, “Luck Out” means to be lucky. Heck, I’ve used it that way myself. But it has always annoyed me as it seems short for “out of luck” to me, which of course means UNlucky. Apparently I’m not the only one who feels that way, as the dictionary also gives the colloquial definition in England and Australia as exactly that — luck out there means to be unlucky.

Then there’s “Cash In”. Again this seems opposite to me. Yes I know it is commonly used as synonymous with Cash Out. But to my mind Cash Out means I’m retiring from the poker game, pulling out my investment, whatever. I’m turning this voucher in and getting CASH OUT. Cash In is what happened BEFORE you Cashed Out, when you turned cash in and what you got out were gambling chips, a lottery ticket or company stock. Yet the definition for both phrases mean essentially the same.

So to my flustered mind that lottery slogan should be. “Luck In, Cash Out”. 😜

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