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Thursday, January 2, 2014

I Should ‘a Played The Lottery!

I Should ‘a Played The Lottery!

Another giant lottery just left me in the 600 million dollar dust.  I might have won, except I didn’t play.  I wouldn’t know what to do with $600 million anyway.  I think I could handle five million, and maybe even ten million, but 600 million would just screw me up.

It is a lot of work handling that much money.   Most winners of big lotteries end up badly.  If you are not brought up with that kind of money, you just don’t know what to do with it.  It becomes a full time job investing, giving to charities, and spending it.

I know, “Just let me win, I’ll chance it…ha ha ha.”

Well about 70 % of the people that win multi-millions file for bankruptcy within five years.*  Marriages fail and people die.

Sure you can hire someone to manage all that money, but then you need to hire someone to watch the manager, and with that much money involved they could join together and rip you off. 

Who needs all that worry?

Still most people dream of hitting that life altering bonanza and will invest in the dream every week or even every day.  Some people even think they can develop a system to win.

I once waited in line behind someone who failed to play a million dollar game the week before.  This was the honest to God conversation he had with the clerk.

“What were last week’s winning numbers?”

“25, 19, 6, 45 and 7”

“No way!  I would have played those numbers…no I swear I would have.  25 is for Christmas, my favorite holiday, 19 was my baseball number in high school, 6 is my third sons age next year, my wife is 45, and 7 was Mickey Mantle’s number…I know I would have played those numbers!”

“Too bad sir, maybe if you play this week you will win.”

“Damn straight, let me play 24, 14, 38, 11 and 9…three times!”

Funny how he played different numbers than the ones he knew he would have played the week before.  I guess he figured the numbers would never come out the same twice.  Smart.  Especially smart to play those numbers three times; that way if they did come out he could share all that money with himself…three times!

Here is my secret to winning the lottery:

Every day take the four dollars you spend on scratch-off tickets and put it away in a solid mutual fund earning an average 7% interest.  Every payday, take the twenty dollars you spend on the jackpot lottery and put it away at 7% interest.  Do this every month for 40 years, and at the end of that time you will have over $200,000 in the bank.   I think you would have to be pretty lucky to hit the lottery every 40 years, and yet it could be a sure thing!**

I wish I had followed my own formula 40 years ago!

*Ok, I made that figure up, but it is fairly common.
**Once again I don’t really know, it is just a guess, you do the math, I’m sure it is a bunch of money.   


  1. Wish I had also followed this advise. Well, I didn't play the lottery but I sure wish I would have put away even $10 a week. I don't do math anymore so your figures work for me.

  2. How come you always realize later in life all the things you SHOULD have done?

    I spent all my money on women and, well, that's it. The rest I just wasted. :)


  3. Where can I get 7% interest? I'll be there like a shot as it's generally below 2% right now here in England.

  4. My husband has a budget for lottery tickets, etc. and maintains a spreadsheet of losses and gains. He's very meticulous with it. I could never be that thorough with that stuff.

  5. A group of my golfing buddies & I played the lottery for years. I think we won a TOTAL of $100.00!!

  6. My brother-in-law's greatest regret about retiring: missing out on the office lottery pool. Did they every win? No. Did he ever figure out he'd never win? No.

  7. Send me the $600 mil. I'll worry about it day and night from Bora Bora.

  8. When ever I do buy one of the tickets for the HUGE payouts, I pray fervently that I don't win the big one. I have my eye on the lesser prizes. So far, my prayers have been answered.
    Wish I had 40 years left to test your theory.

  9. I play the lottery here and there. Not on a daily basis, and the big ones only when the jackpot is high. As far as the 7% interest, though...I'm lucky to get .5% on my savings. Might as well invest in a new sock and stuff my money in it and bury it in the back yard.

  10. I once worked with a woman whose sister won $100,000 in a Canadian lottery. This hard-working thrifty woman was broke and divorced within a year. This would seem to confirm your assertion that these people end up worse off than if they'd never played.

  11. I wrote a post of the Lottery a while back. Yours made me go back to see what I said.

    I share your not-so-enthusiastic view of it and your ambivalence, too. In other words, a cool million (after taxes) would be nice. We can handle that, right? without divorcing or going bankrupt.

  12. I did one of those retirement calculators last year and according to it's calculations it's a little too late for me to sign up for Cranky's plan.

  13. When Minnesota joined the Powerball, we started playing a set of numbers. Now we continue to play them, because if our numbers won and we didn't have a ticket we'd have to kill ourselves, right? Remember the old TV show The Millionaire? Things usually went wrong for those folks, too, but of course we figure we could handle it just fine.

  14. I would love to win millions of dollars and I know exactly what I would do with it. I have a brother, a sister, a niece, four children, five grandchildren, two ex-husbands.....split the winnings evenly, everybody is happy and I only have to worry about how to spend my share.