How the Lottery Can Ruin Your Life

Why you shouldn't throw your money down the drain

from daveramsey.com on 28 Mar 2012
 

Perhaps the quickest way to ruin your life is to win the lottery.

Don't laugh. Lots of people think that instantly coming into a few million dollars means life on easy street, money that will be around forever, and no need for responsibility or work.

The truth is very rarely does it work out like that for a lottery winner. Unfortunately, a new study published in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making finds that people who feel poor are more eager to spend money in an attempt to get rich (this is a good "duh" moment). One recent report found that families who make under $12,400 spend about $645 a year on lottery tickets.

Many poor people are fooled by what they think it means to win the lottery. It's usually the worst thing that could ever happen to someone.

Coming into a quick pile of cash usually means that people will come out of the woodwork looking to get a piece of your pie. Third cousins whom you didn't even know existed will call and hit you up for money. You'll get letters in the mail from complete strangers with every sob story imaginable (unemployed, sick children, in a wheelchair, etc.) in an attempt to get sympathy points and money from you. It puts a big target on your back, and most often it takes you out, too.

When you are feeling the money crunch, the last thing you want to do is spend what little money you have on a super-long shot for money. The odds of winning a lottery are literally about one in 125 million.

  • You are 66 times more likely to die from a snake bite.
  • You are 2,001 times more likely to die in the electric chair!
  • You are 2,201 times more likely to die from a hornet, wasp or bee sting.
  • You are 1,488,095 times more likely to die in a car wreck on the way to the gas station to buy the lottery ticket.

Does all this sound ridiculous? Good! It's supposed to sound that way! Banking on winning the lottery is about as ridiculous as it gets!

Think about this for a second. The less money you have, the more wisely you need to manage it because you don't have as much room for error. When you make a budget and get out of debt, you have some breathing room. Your budget can get busted when an emergency comes up, but that's why you save up an emergency fund. The ultimate is when you start investing the money you have. The reason for that is eventually your money will grow to enormous sums because of the power of compound interest.

Forget the lotto. Working hard and saving money is the only surefire way to make money. It works every time unlike the lotto.

There is a better way to build wealth. Learn more about Financial Peace University.

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