Winning the Lottery!

Winning the Lottery!”

It never ceases to amaze me how many people, who are on controlled budgets, give buying lottery tickets every week a high priority. The rationale generally falls into two distinct groups.

There are those who feel that, regardless of prior results, they think that this week will be their turn for the big win! Then there are those who simply buy tickets because “If you don’t play, you can’t win eh”!

What they all seem to have in common is the desire to win a large sum of money, and how happy they believe it would make them. Of course the whole lottery “advertising machine” encourages such thinking when, without exception (in my experience), all advertising focuses on self indulgent spending.

I find the whole lottery scene interesting because so many people are thinking nothing of spending $20-$25 a week on tickets. However, most of them would admit to a degree of excitement if they were given $1000.00. For some reason, the rationale does not holdup when you suggest that they stop buying tickets for a year; saved the money, and then gave themselves $1000.00 at year end!

It would appear therefore that while a $1000.00 gift would be nice, it is the $multi-million prizes that are the attraction. Again, I have to question the logic because there are so many examples of people forced into bankruptcy after a big win, simply because they spend with no thought for their resulting obligations. Moving into a multi-million dollar home dictates very high taxes and utilities plus the general upkeep of such properties! A luxury yacht is not a low maintenance item! Buying everybody a Rolls Royce car may well not be appreciated at vehicle service time.

Then there are those who have won multi-millions, and have decided to take a vacation while they decide what to do with it. Very often, it is decided to treat family and friends to small (relative to the win) value items such as pay off mortgages or buy cars. I am no accountant, but it is apparently very likely that a $multi-million win could be gaining more interest over a year than is being spent! People can literally have “more money than they know what do with”. Given all the new friends that they will undoubtedly have, and all the charities that will be in constant touch with them, it is highly unlikely that this will be a carefree and happy period in their life!

It seems to me that the ideal person to win a $multi-million lottery, is someone with a good basic knowledge of accounting and investments; someone with business experience, and someone with a philanthropic perspective. As far as I can deduce, that person would have a chance of being happy as a result of a big win but then, would that person actually buy lottery tickets?

32 thoughts on “Winning the Lottery!

  1. When the lottery started over here, we joined in but didn’t win anything. Our first tenner prize was when my Dad died. The second tenner we won was when my FIL died 8 years later. We stopped, bt in later years did the Euromillions, and our odds of winning improved, even if it just covered our stake. Now we don’t bother, especially as ticket prices have doubled and they have added more numbers and decreased winnings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Never understood this phenomena either. And then there are those who hang out pulling the one-armed bandit at casinos. I had business trips to Vegas all the time and dreaded landing at the airport-there’s every manner of slot machines ping, ping, pinging like crazy-the noise is maddening as are those who think they’ll ‘win the big one.’

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  3. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I had similar thoughts when thinking about people buying weekly lottery tickets. I thought if they saved that money they had a much bigger win in the end. Most of all, when there is a tightly controlled budget. The bottom line is more about managing the money you have or coming up with some serious ideas to grow it on a stable and regulated basis.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally agree with you Erika. It is quite amazing how regular saving can grow over time, but that concept is lost on so many people. I must assume that the idea of a possible “quick fix”, even at multi-million-to-one odds of happening, is more attractive than regular saving/investing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is, also because it happens so effortlessly. But right those who don’t know how to handle money are often those who cannot handle that lottery win in the long run and stand there without anything soon again.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. While not exactly an apples for apples comparison, and I know this is a bit off topic, this reminds me of a training concept. That concept for dogs is that if you “pay” them for a behavior with a treat they will repeat the behavior when asked (eventually). Like someone playing a slot machine they don’t have to get coins returned with each pull of the handle. If the coins come out occasionally that person will keep putting more coins in on the chance they may get the jackpot. Dogs, as you know, over time do not need the treat every time they repeat the requested behavior. Just once in a while. This was a basic training concept deployed with all my girls and probably you with Ray. The difference with your topic of the lottery s that I believe the players rarely win anything at all, if ever. Even a dog would probably stop producing the behavior if not “paid” (reminded) occasionally. Whose smarter? 🤭

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    • An interesting comparison Michael. Ray is (I believe) typical of most dogs in that he has a very positive outlook on life. Yes, he was taught that a certain behaviour resulted in a treat however, those training days have long gone. Ray has however remembered well and, while he now has no guarantee of a treat, he will still cooperate … just in case!

      While that is generally known as a positive attitude in the context of dogs, I am not so sure that it accurately reflects the perspective of gamblers in general. I have known a number of regular lottery players and their perspective is “I think I might win this week.” When they do not win, the response is usually “Well perhaps next week”! Positive thinking? Addictive thinking? Delusional thinking?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you make some excellent points. I wish that the lottery system was the only way the government could raise cash. Then the gullible would fund the government, and everyone else would be left alone, and untaxed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My first thought was “Let me win! I can show you that I would be responsible!” My mom, poor as she was, bought the occasional lottery ticket because it gave her hope and was cheap enough. Not many hopeful things can be bought for a dollar. I once worked with a guy who spent $600 on a particularly large lottery. He was an engineer making a good salary but I was still appalled. It only takes one to win! Maybe the fun of the lottery is planning what you would do with it. You can bet all the animal rescues around here would be happy!

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    • I can totally understand the “day dreaming” perspective of what one would do with a lottery win but, to me, it should go no further than a “day dream”. Gambling, in any form, creates far more problems than it solves and while I am not specifically against lotteries, the broader range of gambling seems to have no positive aspects for our society. In fact one must wonder how many $$$$ our Govt. pumps into the healthcare programs that are necessary as a result of addiction conditions. Under a different funding structure, one could question how much profit is being generated by businesses in the addiction rehab/treatment programs. It seems to me that pretty much anything goes if money can be made from it, which is a rather dismal statement of our society.

      Liked by 1 person

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