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Staff Writer at Debt Reduction Services

Savings is a commitment, not an amount.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!

For perspective, if you were to buy 4 Powerball tickets a week ($12 total) for 15 years, you might think your chances are pretty good of winning, right? In such a case, you have the same chance of winning the Powerball jackpot at some point during those 15 years as you do of picking the top $1,000,000 briefcase in Howie Mandel’s Deal or No Deal gameshow 3,600 times IN A ROW!!! Yeah, good luck with that.

Go stand next to a tall tree four times a week during a lightning storm, and your chances of being injured by lightning are still 343 times greater than winning the Powerball. Or you could just stay inside and not rely on chance at all.

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

Piggy-Bank-Fast-100pxPut that same $12 a week ($52 a month) away into an average mutual fund (returning 9% a year), and you have a nearly sure bet that you will have 100% MORE money (i.e. doubled) after 15 years. You put in a total of $9,360, and, after a few fees, the market turns it into nearly $19,000. There’s even a pretty small chance (although huge compared to the Powerball odds) that the stocks you pick will return 40% a year, turning your investment into over $500,000 over a 15 year period. There is a very small chance that you may only have $12,000. But there is virtually no chance that you would have nothing, which is what most lottery “players” end up with.

Just keep in mind:


Start today with $12. Add another $12 next week, another $12 the week after, and you’re already putting $52 a month into savings. That’s over $600 a year! Couldn’t you use $600 when the car needs tires? The washer needs replacing? The kids head back to school?


Have a great day!

Todd Christensen-Author of Everyday Money for Everyday People, Todd ChristensenTodd Christensen
Everyday Money for Everyday People

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