Don’t Play the Fucking Lottery

Posted: January 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

Lottery

 

Really? Don’t tell me you did it. You bought a fucking lottery ticket? You moron!

Easy, Man! It’s Just Two Dollars!

The record Powerball jackpot has created quite the buzz. However, just like that email from the Nigerian prince, it’s a scam. Any knowledge of taxes and expected value should tell you that.

It’s not breaking news that the lottery is a poor decision, but millions still play. The popular excuse is that it’s fun to dream about what they would do with the money if they won.

It may seem like such a hard stance to call Powerball players idiots, but playing the lottery is indicative of other bad choices.

I have two main grievances against the lottery: The News Coverage and The Mindset.

The News Coverage

Television, Social Media, and the Newspapers have been filled recently with coverage devoted to this get-rich-quick scheme. I’m sure the airwaves will continue to be polluted when a winner is announced. Tell me a story about a man who worked his ass of to make his money instead of one made rich by dumb luck. Elon Musk became a billionaire by developing an electric car company and a spaceship business. Joe Powerball became a billionaire because he was able to find eight quarters in his desk drawer.

A popular story is the ‘Curse of the Lottery’ chronicling how one-time Powerball millionaires go broke and bankrupt a couple of years after striking it rich. The truth is there is no curse of the lottery, just a curse of being really fucking stupid. Is it surprising that a person who thinks the lottery is a bright idea has trouble managing their money?

Also, why do lottery news articles always seem cite someone with a PhD in Mathematics? “According to Dr. Smith, the odds of winning are 1 in 292 million”. This isn’t differential equations, it’s basic probability. A 7th grader should be able to calculate those odds.  Perhaps you should have to pass a test in probability and expected value before you participate, just so players realize how stupid they are.

The Mindset

By playing the Powerball it says that you subscribe to the belief that millionaires should be created by luck. That you hope minimal effort will bring about amazing results. It’s a mindset that leads people to buy a vibrating ab belt with hopes of losing 100 lbs. This should not be the mindset of the masses.

What really bothers me is that a person who has created zero value will become a multi-millionaire. Millions of dollars should be a reflection of hard work and intelligent decisions. Playing the lottery fails both of those tests.

The sad thing is this the lottery represents the best hope some people have of becoming a millionaire. One in 292 million. Ten minutes spent buying a ticket. A couple days fantasizing how to spend the millions. Fuck it. Create your own luck

What Should You Do Instead?

Read about self-made millionaires. Mark Cuban, Elon Musk, and Sam Walton are some great examples with fantastic biographies. Quit dreaming about how your going to make millions and go do it yourself. Stop relying on luck to make your dreams a reality and become self-reliant.

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