Why I’ve Never Played the Lottery

I’ve never played the lottery.

I’ve been to Vegas twice: one time for spring break during college and another for a Christmas get away with the fam. Both times I did no gambling. Nada. I was either dancing to whatever l pop song was popular circa 2008, or riding that ginormous indoor roller coaster.

And I had a blast.

I've Never Played the Lottery

I have received lotto tickets as gifts from White Elephant parties, but never have I forked over cash for a ticket myself. With the recent hoopla over the $1.5 billion Powerball Jackpot, here are three reasons why I have never played the lottery or gambled (aside from that time I played Bingo with my 90-something neighbor).

I've Never Played the Lottery

Here are three reasons why I’ve never played the lottery.

1. May the Odds Ever Be in Your Favor

It is like the Hunger Games, the odds just are not in your favor; in the end almost everyone is losing. The odds of winning the Powerball Jackpot is 1 in 292 million. To put it into perspective, according to Investopedia, you have a greater chance of being struck by lightning (1 in 2,320,000) or of being struck by falling airplane parts (1 in 10 million).

2. Seventy Percent Go Broke Within Seven Years

A sudden windfall doesn’t do the trick for financial security. Many jackpot winners spend frivolously on fancy cars, designer clothes, parties (see the trend here… they obtain no real assets), and end up broke. The National Endowment for Financial Education found that this is common for not only jackpot winners, but anyone who gets a sudden windfall, like getting an inheritance.

Here are real stories of past lottery winners who lost their entire fortune. Cue: drama. They experience murders, theft, lawsuits, and more. No thank-you.

3. I Believe in the DIY Jackpot

American’s spend $70 billion on lottery tickets per year which is about $300 per adult.  If you take an 18-year old and instead of spending $300 a year on the lottery they invested in an index fund earning 10% by age 65 they will have a nest egg of over $320,000 which is significantly higher than what most seniors have. US News reported that the median retirement account balance of current 60-somethings is $55,807.

The odds are against you, if you do win, you’ll likely lose it all, and if every 18-year old simply invested $300 a year, which is $25 a month, they’d have their own DIY jackpot. That’s why I’ve never played the lottery.

Love Carly

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