IRA or Powerball?

“When I win the Powerball, I’m going to buy that house and kick him out.  I play diligently, so you know it’s going to happen.”

The Lotto Powerball logo

The Lotto Powerball logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a friend say this to me this week.    He’s poor–living on about $500 per month–and he was recently evicted from his apartment.

His plans for the future involve taking nearly 20% of his income and burning it playing the lottery.  When he found out that I don’t play, he looked at me like I was stupid.

The odds of winning a life-changing amount of money are 1 in 5,153,632.65.  That’s for a $1,000,000 prize.  The next step down is $10,000, which, while helpful, won’t change many people’s situation for long.  One in 5 million.   That’s 5 times worse than your odds of being hit by lightning this year.   It is, however, 4 times better than your odds of being sainted and 12 times worse than your odds of dating a supermodel.

It’s not going to happen.

Sure, play for fun–because turning cash into valueless slips of paper is a blast–but don’t play the lottery instead of working to improve your future.  The lottery is NOT a retirement plan.

Instead, a much more reasonable plan is to date a millionaire.  The odds of making that happen are just 215 to 1, and you can do things to improve your chances.

Improving the odds of dating a millionaire:

  • Hang out where millionaires go.  Yacht clubs, nice restaurants, rehab, that dark corner of their bedroom where the lamp never quite reaches that just looks perfect for a stalker-cam.
  • Do what millionaires do.  Golf, high-stakes poker, oppress third-world countries, Centrifugal Bumblepuppy.
  • Look like millionaire-bait.  For my friend, the 50-year-old black man, it might be hard to look like a 23-year-old blonde hardbody, but it’s worth the effort.
  • Be nice, be polite, give good h…nevermind.

Seriously, getting a regular job and socking money away every month will give you a far better return on your investment than playing the lottery.  Even if you’re saving it in a mayonnaise jar buried in the backyard next to that obnoxious guy who used to live next door, you will be building security and peace of mind.  Every month, you will be better prepared for the storm of crap life tends to throw around.

Do you play the lottery?  Why or why not?

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  • 4 comments

    Comments

    1. I play very rarely! Maybe once a year or every other year. I only play for a dollar because that is all I am willing to lose.

    2. I find too often that those who play the lotto are just sad. Many aren’t playing for fun or just a way to spend a dollar but rather they hinge their hopes and dreams on actually winning. Just scary and stupid if you ask me. I use to only play if it was over 100 million but then it started being over a 100 million to often so I stopped.

    3. I’ll occasionally play the Powerball. I treat it strictly as gambling though and don’t ever put in more then $5. It’s pretty awful that some people treat that as their retirement plans. Might as well just take your paycheck to the casino and bet on black.

    4. It’s really sad that some people honestly see this as their actual retirement plan. Another place where you find this a lot are casinos. Although I don’t go to them a lot, every once in a while when I do I always observe it being filled with elderly people just pumping their hard earned savings into slot machines hoping for the next big payout. Too bad for most it will never come.

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