The Lotto, Your finances, and You

by David Bakke

lottoThe Lotto. Powerball, Fantasy 5, Cash 3, scratch offs; I am talking about the whole nine yards.

I just want to ask you one question. Why?

Yes, why. Why do you play the Lotto? I mean, I know the obvious reason, but I’d like to go a little deeper.

I used to play the Lotto. A lot. I played every single thing I could get my hands on. It was a long time ago, but not so long ago that I’ve forgotten.

So let’s see, why did I play the Lotto?

First, to win. And to win big (by the way, I played the Lotto for several years, and never had more than a one hundred dollar pay out).

Why else? Well, as I remember, the majority of tickets or numbers that I bought were purchased at night after I had been out with friends. So, let’s put down because of a lack of discipline (for want of a better term).

Why else? Well, I was younger, and it was pretty impressionable on the people that I was with when I walked into a convenience store and bought 50 scratch offs, or played fifty numbers for the weekly drawing. So, let’s call it peer pressure, or status. I know, sounds ridiculous, but it’s true.

Why else? Habit. Sure, I think that was a cause too. It just became a habit that every time I needed to go to the convenience store, that I’d at least add on a few scratch offs to whatever else I needed.

My point is this-there are few valid good reasons to play the Lotto. If you are financially set and don’t have a care in the world, sure, buy a ticket every now and then for fun. For entertainment. But not for any of the above reasons. Then you just get into wasting your money. And statistics show that the majority of people that play the lottery are not financially set without a care in the world. They are the people that need money more than most.

If you are currently playing the Lotto (and also trying to fix your finances) do me this one small favor. Stop playing the Lotto for three months. Or, maybe its thirty days. Just stop for a set period of time. Every time you have a desire to get a ticket or a number, just stick that money in a jar at home. After time is up, look at that jar. Add it up. If you stopped for thirty days, multiply times 12. If it was for three months, multiply it times 4. You see where I am going with this.

Thus amount is how much you can save annually by giving up the Lotto. Then, think of where you could better spend this money. Paying down a credit card, starting a college fund, putting it away for retirement, etc.

No one says you have to stop forever. Like I said, once you are in line financially, and want to get one now and then for entertainment, go right ahead. Until then, try my little experiment. It will probably be an eye opener.

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1 Qt February 13, 2010 at 11:12 am

I liked that you didn’t rule that out completely , if you can afford it and you get some fun out of it (and i’m not even considering the possibility of a win) those money aren’t wasted, they bought you some fun and that is a good investment 😉 .

2 David/Yourfinances101 February 13, 2010 at 1:30 pm


Yes, it can be a form of entertainment–and hey, you might win something.

Those that are viewing it as a “ticket (pardon the pun) out of financial worry, well, to me, that is a problem.

Thanks for commenting
.-= David/Yourfinances101´s last blog ..The Lotto, Your finances, and You =-.

3 Brandy February 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm

we can afford to play and someone has to win. i have won $2000 several times and $300,000 last july. also had a friend win $100,000 several years back. our lotto gives money to students as lotto scholorships here so its like giving to a charity too. if i cant afford to play though i dont.
.-= Brandy ´s last blog ..Windows are open =-.

4 David Bakke February 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm


I think the key here is that you can afford to play.

It seems to me though that too many people out there have that mindset that “If I can win, then maybe I can get out of debt.”

Thanks for your comments!

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