Powerball Lottery

Powerball Lottery

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A lot of popular advertisements slogans are “All it takes is $1 and a dream”, which is odd that now these lottery tickets are now $2 each.  Why?  Its not like your chances of winning are going to double.  In fact, all it does is increase the jackpot to attract more players with the illusion of winning. And, to be realistic, if you did win a billion dollars, or even took the lump sum of $500 million, what would you do with it?  There is no way you can realistically spend all that money on anything unless you were already a billionaire and knew what companies or sports franchises to buy to make even more money.  No, that is not who lottery ticket buyers are.  They are simple people who work hard and are getting tired of the grind, but all they have left is $2 and a dream.

While I am not a hater and not trying to crush anyone’s hopes, this is so wrong on so many levels, and especially preys on the weak, nearly hopeless and especially those in poverty or near it who are living paycheck to paycheck.  Let’s face it, if we are working hard every week only to get a paycheck to put into the bank to pay for the car, the house, the rent, gasoline to get to work, or food and groceries, you don’t really need a billion dollars.  Someone like this needs relief and making the game more fair and less money is really going to give some hope and a realistic shot at financial freedom to escape modern day enslavement. Let’s face it, $10,000 per day is enough to sustain anyone even if they wanted yachts, mansions and the most expensive champagne available.  If someone were to win just $200 million, they would be set for the next 50 years if they wasted $10k every day, or 500 years if they “only” spent $1000/day. I know mansions and yachts eat up money fast, but once you buy those things, you certainly don’t need $1k each day to fill them with gas, heat, air conditioning or even staff to clean them.

My point here is, that I would rather cap the winnings and increase the odds rather than make it a money making scheme for the US Government, which is what it basically is.  Is it any wonder that in one week the odds were so improbable that the jackpot of $600 million had no winners that the new jackpot snowballed into $1.5 billion? Of course not. The more improbable the chances of winning, the higher the jackpot and of course the more idiots that line up to buy more tickets to help fund a government deficit.  Here are the facts… I myself spent $10 in the last week to try and win.  Out of dozens of numbers selected, both by me, my wife and the computer “quick pick” which is supposed to be random, only 2-3 numbers actually popped up.  Obviously if you are selecting more than a dozen numbers and only 1-2 pop up, and you need 6 to win, its a scam.

I don’t want to rob people of fun, hope, or anything else, however, if this is going to be a government backed “valid” lottery, they need to make it fair, narrow the odds by narrowing the numbers and the numbers can hit in any sequence.  No one needs $100 million, much less $1 Billion, so make it better odds with less payout so there are more winners. Even still, good luck. However, if you do win, take some advice from billionaire Mark Cuban of Shark Tank:

  1. Hire a financial team.  This included an accountant and a tax attorney who knows all the rules better than most.  Yes, you can invest in everything from snake oil to Apple stocks to Coca-Cola, but a financial team will guide you in the right direction so you are not simply throwing the money away.
  2. Don’t take the lump sum.  Yes, you have to pay taxes on this money even though the government is funding this with your already paid tax dollars.  While I agree with this, only because a person who goes from nothing to everything needs to still have some discipline and structure, the other part of me says take the lump sum because you should not trust the future, much less the government.
  3. Happiness.  The truth is, if you were not happy with your life prior to winning, you are not going to be happy afterward.  Of course if money was your number one reason for depression and not being able to pay bills, then yes, you will be happier, but not if you had no happiness in spite of all that debt.
  4. No.  The answer is no to anyone who asks you for money, relatives, friends or otherwise.  Real friends will not ask you for money, and if you are close with any of them, you know who is hurting and who needs money, and no, that never means giving more than a million dollars to anyone.  In some really bad situations, medical bills can build up into 6-7 figures from $100,000 to $1,000,000, its ok to help, but outside of that, no one needs a million dollars for anything. (Scary scenario about healthcare in USA that being a millionaire won’t help you cover common health issues no matter how extreme).
  5. Once the bills are paid and money is no longer an issue, money itself is over rated, so look at what you want to improve in your life, and chances are its not money.

Should you win then think of starting a charitable organization to give something back.  You might have kids, grandchildren, etc, but you can still take care of them and start a well-run organization to help children with special needs, adults with domestic problems and even help fund research for medicine like various types of cancer.

Finally, don’t think that winning a billion dollars is the same as going to heaven.  You still have some pain to endure.  Now that you have enough money to change your name and escape to a private island, people can still find you, and you will have to have bodyguards with guns guarding you and your family 24/7 so that you are any of your family members are not kidnapped and held for ransom.  That includes your Aunt Sally who no one talks to because she is an alcoholic and has been married 3 times.  Are you really going to turn your back on her and watch her get murdered because you didn’t want to cough up $10million on ransom money, especially if that would not even make a dent in your $1billion dollar winnings?

There is a to think about, but fortunately or unfortunately, we don’t ever have to worry about that because the odds of winning are so ridiculously rare.  There is nothing wrong with playing, hoping and dreaming, just remember $1 is worth the dream, but spending $100 on numerous tickets thinking your odds of winning will increase is simply stupid.

One better: anyone who gets a paycheck and elects to have $1 taken out each week for the charity of their choice is automatically entitled to a free lottery ticket where the odds of winner are far better than what is the present system.

Think about it.

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