Monday, December 30, 2013

The Lottery, It's Just Not Worth It

The Lottery, It's Just Not Worth It

By Keith Bunn Jr.
December 30, 2014

A few weeks ago, during a break at work, a friend of mine asked if I had bought a Mega Millions lottery ticket for that half a billion dollar jackpot ($636 million to be exact). I told him, no. He knew how I felt about the lottery. That it is a big waste of money. Then he asked, "Don't you think paying $1 is worth a chance to win a half a billion dollars?" (1 in 259 million chance then). I still said, no and here's why I said that.

Why Playing the Lottery is Not Worth It

The reason I think it's not worth playing is because if it is worth spending $1 for a chance at a half a billion dollars, then it's worth spending $5, $10, $20 or more, and people do spend that all the time, just for a "chance" to win. But what they are really doing is robbing themselves of their own futures. Let me explain...

Let's say the people who play the lottery, spend on average $10 per week. That's $40 per month. If they were to take that same amount and invested it, getting a 10% rate of return from age 18 to 65, they would have $463,931 by the time they retired. And if they did that in a Roth IRA, that would be about a half a billion dollars! TAX FREE!! This happens every time! Not in 1 in 259 million tries!! 

And we know that people do this. These numbers are not that far off. We see people do this all the time, especially during the huge jackpots like we saw a few weeks ago. This is why I think playing the lottery is a waste of money and is not worth playing.

Now, if you play the lottery, and even continue to play it after reading this, that's fine. It's your money and we can still be friends. But just be aware that you are only hurting yourself, and perhaps your family by playing.

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I'd also like to take this opportunity to wish you all a safe & Happy New Year! See you in 2014

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