Friday, April 13, 2012

Stop Playing The Lottery

I'll confess, I splurge when the jackpot gets really high.  It isn't that "I couldn't live on a measley $2 million jackpot."  It's my way of limiting my lottery expenditures to $5 at a time, once or twice a year.

I know people who play the "Powerball," a  42 state lottery, every Wednesday and Saturday.  $10 a week. That's $520 a year.

They'll claim that "they're due."  Each drawing re-sets the odds at 1 in 195,249,054 to win the Grand Prize.  Each drawing resets the odds at one in 35 to win.  If you buy 5 tickets for each drawing, you raise your odds to 5 in 35 to win $3 back.

The odds of dying in a car wreck next year are 1 in 7500 people.  This is almost twice as likely as getting three matching numbers plus the Powerball and winning $100 from one ticket.

I read an article that suggests that the odds of either dying in a car wreck, or killing someone in a car wreck in a two mile round trip to buy a Powerball ticket are seven times greater than winning the jackpot.

People spend money on strategies like wheeling systems that really only improve your odds by increasing the number of tickets that you purchase. 

Other people join lottery clubs that increase the odds of winning by increasing the number of tickets purchased, but decrease the jackpot per person because you're dividing it equally and/or suing one another because "Person A collected the money and Person B bought the tickets and Person C made photo copies of the tickets," etc.

Someone very wise once said, "I win a dollar every day I don't buy a lottery ticket."  Another wise person said, "you can't win if you play."   If you feel lucky, why not choose a 50/50 raffle somewhere that benefits a good cause.  Your odds are much better.

Stop Powerballing!  You just saved $500 a year.


The Frugal Maestro


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