Do You Play the Lottery?

By: veggiefrog

A buck doesn’t buy much these days.  You can’t even get a decent cup of coffee for a dollar anymore.

But what you can buy is a chance to win hundreds of millions of dollars through the lottery.  Just a dollar and a little bit of luck could change your life forever and make you rich beyond your wildest dreams.

Well maybe not just a little bit of luck.  You actually you need a heck of a lot of luck to win one of the giant jackpots.  The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot is 258,890,850 to 1.  Your odds are slightly better with Powerball which gives you a 1 in 175,223,510 chance to win.

To put that in perspective, your odds of getting struck by lightning this year is 280,000 to one.  The odds of you dating a supermodel are only 189,000 to 1 (I’m still waiting for Kate Upton to call me).  Heck, the odds of the Cleveland Browns winning the Super Bowl are only 75 to 1 and no one thinks that could possibly happen.

Realistically, you’re probably more likely to get struck by lightning while at the Super Bowl with a supermodel watching the Browns win than you are to win a big lottery jackpot.

I almost never play the lottery.  Logically, I just can’t stand the thought of flushing my hard-earned money down the drain when I know there’s almost no chance of winning.  And when you consider the many people who regret winning the lottery, you have to wonder if you’d even want to win.

The one time I do participate is when the pot gets really high and the folks from work all go in together in a lottery pool.  I don’t actually believe we have a chance to win.  But on the off chance they somehow end up with the winning numbers, I don’t want to be the only one left working for a living.

As long as you have the money to spare, buying an occasional lottery ticket isn’t likely to do any harm.  Although some people who are particularly frugal would argue that every dollar should be saved or invested, there’s nothing wrong with splurging a little on something that makes you feel good.

Just be careful not to get too carried away.  Spending too much on the lottery or spending money you don’t have can get you in trouble and fill you with regrets.  I used to work with someone who had spent over $41,000 on lottery tickets and though he had to work a second job to cover his monthly bills he still refused to break his $20 a week lottery addiction.

So let me ask you…do YOU play the lottery?  If so, why?

Do you believe you have a legitimate chance of winning, or do you just figure “you never know”? Perhaps you view it as an escape from the everyday drag and you enjoy imagining what it would be like to be insanely rich?  Are you deep in debt and look at the lottery as your only way out? Or maybe buying a lottery ticket just gives you a quick thrill like a gambler pulling the lever on a slot machine?

Leave a comment below explaining why you do or don’t play the lottery…


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Mike is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in finance and parenting topics. He is a dedicated husband and father of three who is obsessed with creating multiple streams of income and building wealth so he can achieve true financial freedom for his family. Like what you're reading? Subscribe to our free RSS feed and follow us on Twitter.

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  1. says

    I used to until one day I went to clean my car and found $200 worth of CA lottery tickets. I realized I would buy them and never even bother to check them. Moment I woke up from my fantasy.

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