I have a lot of acquaintences and family members who religiously play the state sponsored lottery. They play either all the time, or they play only when the super lotto jackpot is high enough to justify wasting a few bucks on a ticket that is one out of millions or billions of tickets, and its likelihood of matching as a winner are about the same – in other words, you have pretty lousy odds of becoming the next lottery winner. On the other hand, what could you do with that money that you worked so hard to earn that would otherwise most likely be tossed down the drain to the hope that you may be one of the few fortunate to strike it big at this game of pure chance?
Well, take the person who spends $100 or more on the lottery every week. If they put that same money into a money market, they may be looking at a nice little nest egg when they retire. Or even better, up the amount they put in their 401k or other matching retirement program at work, and they could be looking at a better company match, and way more money in their pot when they retire! Any way you slice it, playing the lottery seems like a very high risk, low return investment to me.
Not only that, look at the amount of people who have won the lottery and only unhappiness has ensued. Many people who win the lottery end up overspending, and end up in the poor house if they are not properly counseled how to spend and invest their new found fortune. Also, there is what has been called the lottery winner curse, where people have loved ones threatened and kidnapped, struggle with family problems and other things like that which are not pleasant at all. All in all, winning the lottery seems to have a lot of empty promises….