Let’s Play the Lottery! (maybe)


Dang, the new mega millions jackpot is 1.6 billion dollars. That’s insane! Ok, lets be real. I know that I shouldn’t play the lottery. I know it’s basically a poor tax, and I know that my odds of winning are minuscule. And by minuscule, I mean it’s nearly impossible. But still, 1.6 billion…

Why I’ll play the lottery

I’m not going to lie. I’m going to play the lottery. In fact, I played on Friday when the jackpot was a mere 990 million. So, if I know that my chances of winning are slim to none, why do I still play?

Well that’s easy! I’m not spending two bucks on a ticket because I know I’m going to win – I’m fairly certain I’m not. I’m spending two bucks for hours of entertainment. The fun in playing the lottery isn’t winning because we all know that’s not going to happen (though wouldn’t it be awesome?). The fun in playing is imagining what you would do if you did win! It’s cheaper than a movie ticket, and I get way more entertainment out of it!

Should you play the lottery?

Not everyone should play the lottery. If you are playing because you really think you’re going to win, you probably shouldn’t be playing. If you spend more than two bucks per person on tickets to “increase your odds of winning”, you probably shouldn’t be playing. And if that two bucks per person is money you need for something else, guess what? You probably shouldn’t be playing.

 I’d also say that you probably shouldn’t be spending two bucks twice a week every week on lottery tickets. That’s $192 per year, which doesn’t sound like much, but if you invest that money instead you would have about $18000 after thirty years (assuming 7% return).

The bottom line is that if winning the lottery is your retirement plan, or playing the lottery is breaking the budget, you probably shouldn’t be playing. However, it is fun to play the lottery every now and again, just for enjoyment of imagining what you’d do if you won.

If I won the lottery

We’ve all thought about it, right? The first thing I’d do if I won is pay off all of my debt, even the stuff that I’m just cosigned on. It would feel great to be free of all that nonsense! Next, I would write a list of the people I’d like to help, and gift them all something (obviously taking the tax obligations into consideration!). I don’t want to be mean, but I would not help anyone who isn’t on my list. Most lottery winners lose all of their winnings within five years, and a big portion of that is because distant relatives and old “friends” come out of the woodwork asking for loans. Sorry, but if you aren’t on my list, you aren’t getting squat!

Next, I would fully fund all my bank accounts. There is nothing wrong with having cash on hand! Then I would treat myself to a trip. I’d take an extravagant (for me, I don’t need any gold-plated toilets or private planes!) trip to Egypt to see the pyramids and the Valley of the Kings. But after that, I’d put the rest of the money in various investment vehicles. Id set up a trust for my future kids, niece, and nephew, and have a super diversified portfolio. I don’t even think I’d quit my job right away (even though I love to talk about it haha).

What would you do?

Are you playing this week’s huge mega millions lottery?  If so, what would you do if you won? Sharing our ideas is part of the fun, isn’t it?

6 thoughts on “Let’s Play the Lottery! (maybe)”

  1. My dad just bought a lotto ticket for the upcoming mega millions. He’s like: this is so I can buy a house to come live near you in FL and leave your pain in the butt grandpa here with a caretaker who isn’t me. Grandpa is rough…just in case that sounded mean. It’s so funny that I just found this post since we were all just planning our big win. My dad also promised to buy my husband and I a villa in Italy, so I am game!!!

  2. First thing I’d do would be to pay off my mortgage and car. That seems so minuscule in the scheme of this win!

    I like the trip idea. My ideal trip would be without kids and would probably involve Europe. Although a brief stop a the pyramids would be very cool!

    • Id pay off debt first too. We are so exciting aren’t? Europe is great, I highly recommend a visit there even if you didn’t win!

  3. I can’t remember the last time I played the lottery and I’m with you. While I’m against spending money on it, I may make an exception to play…. just this once!

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