Powerball: A Sure Bet to Lose Your Money
One in nearly three hundred MILLION!!! 282,201,338 to be fairly exact, at least at the time of this posting. Those are your chances of winning the grand prize, whether it was last week’s Powerball Powerplay jackpot of $1.5B or tonight’s $40M. If you’d be happy with the $1M prize, then your chances are still just one in almost 12 MILLION!
We saw an interesting poll from Bankrate.com that asked how people envision themselves getting financially ahead, particularly in a difficult economy.
Not surprisingly, “Saving and Investing” was the number one answer, at 36%, followed by “Additional Education or Job Training” at 23%. Running your own business (which is actually the most common profession of millionaires in this country) was fifth at just 6%.
The most stunning figure was the 9% of respondents that identified “winning the lottery” as their best chance at financial success. We’ve heard the lottery and other games of chance called a “tax for people who are bad at math,” and there’s a good reason.
The reality is that the lottery should NEVER be played in hopes of winning. Chances of winning are overwhelmingly against lottery players. For EVERY SINGLE winner trumpeted loudly in the local and national media, there are thousands, if not millions, of people just like you who spent money on a ticket (or dozens of tickets) and were stuck with NOTHING.
To put into perspective your chances of winning the multi-state POWERBALL lottery, even if you purchased FOUR TICKETS EVERY week for FIFTEEN YEARS, you are MORE LIKELY to…
1. Win “Deal or No Deal” nearly 2,500 times IN A ROW;
2. Be injured by lightning 9 times during your lifetime;
3. Be killed by lighting;
4. Find a four-leaf clover on your first try 6 times IN A ROW;
Play nine holes of par 3 golf every week for fifteen years, and you might be lucky enough to get 2 holes in one to brag about (and the bar tab in the clubhouse to go with it). Those odds are still nearly 53 thousand times better than winning the Powerball in the above scenario.
A Better Way to Double Your Money
A full 60% of Americans have NO habit of savings. Yet how many such Americans are playing the lottery this week?
If you find yourself among that 60% who have no emergency savings plan, please do us all a favor and start your savings habit today with the money you would have spent on that lottery ticket. A favor to us all? Yes, our collective lack of savings means we – fellow consumers and sometimes even as taxpayers – foot the bill for many bankruptcies and uncollected debts that individuals and households might otherwise have been able to handle had they had even a small savings account fund. Billions of dollars are discharged in personal bankruptcies every year, meaning our favorite places of business must raise prices, loan rates, and other costs in order to compensate.
All because participating in the lottery seemed like a more dependable investment than saving that money instead.
In difficult economic times, despair can lead us to irrational thinking. If you think purchasing $20 worth of lottery tickets each week is a good investment, take a moment to consider the following odds: If you invest that same $20 every week ($87/month) into the stock market and continue doing for 20 years (even through rough economic times), you can REASONABLY EXPECT to have $55,000 or more to your name. That includes $35,000 in interest alone!
Just keep in mind:
SAVINGS IS A COMMITMENT, NOT AN AMOUNT!
Start today with $20. Add another $20 next week, another $20the week after, and you’re already putting $87 a month into savings. That’s over $1,000 a year! Couldn’t you use $1,000 when the car needs tires? The washer needs replacing? The kids head back to school?
SAVE YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE BY SAVING TODAY
To the winners of the this week’s and future lotteries, may your unearned and unmerited new wealth bring you more happiness than you have now, although the odds indicate that a large percentage of lottery winners (already unaccustomed to and uncomfortable with any amount of money in their accounts) find themselves in just the opposite situation. Check out some of their stories:
- Truth about the Lotto
- 550 Will Buy you a Lot of Misery
- Lottery Winner and Losers
- 14 Lottery Winners Who Blew it All
- 10 Lottery Winners Who Lost it All
- What Happens When a Homeless Person is Given $100,000
- This list could go on and on and on.
Do yourself a favor: Put those same few dollars in a savings account. It will bring you a small measure of satisfaction. Otherwise, if you’re not happy with who you are currently and the financial direction you’re headed now, playing the lottery (and even winning the lottery) to change that is not going to make you a better person or necessarily even a happier person. What it will do is press all of the social cockroaches out of the walls of your past and send them scurrying to your door looking for an equal cut of your money. After all, what did you do any different than they to actually earn the money? You won by luck! And luck is a tough sell to the desperate and to the greedy alike.
The winner’s initial exhilaration will likely be followed by a lifetime of the same worries about the money they now have, just multiplied many times over. Compared to the lottery odds, that’s a pretty sure bet!
Have a great day (and save your money)!
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