So, You Didn’t Win the ½ Billion Dollar Lottery, Either?

I don’t usually buy lottery tickets. I know the odds – putting that $1 in my savings and investment accounts will eventually get me a lot more, almost for sure.


But, we do hear the media chatter and as I left to do some shopping my husband said “get me a lotto ticket”.

So, I stopped at the convenience store on the way home and bought 2 – one for him one for me. He was a bit surprised (claimed he was kidding) but played along while still claiming to have never bought a ticket. Getting “serious” about playing the lotto was one of the early signs of his father’s Alzheimer’s so he’s pretty adamant about staying away from the games.

While I was driving around shopping, the PBS radio station interviewed a psychologist about why people play the lottery even though most of us know (rationally) that our chances of winning are ridiculously small. His theory was that it allows us to fantasize and even plan on how we would behave if/when we become really rich.

At dinner later, that’s exactly what we did. It was a daughter’s birthday dinner so the whole family and a few extended members were gathered. My son-in-law said he’ll feel rich when he has $2 million in invested assets. And we all agreed that if any of us won we’d be able to spare $2 million in trust for each family member! Since that’s about what we have in various assets (we feel wealthy but not RICH), I’m pretty sure it’s closer to $5 million (a recent survey backs me up) and my kids are going to need $7 – $10 million to be really wealthy.

The next morning, even after we confirmed we were not winners, my husband and I had another discussion about what we’d do with a sudden infusion of tremendous wealth. We’re not huge spenders (one reason we are wealthy) so we easily agreed on a couple ways we’d manage and spend it (featuring lots of travel) and then went back to our normal life.

Still, I think the discussions the $2 in tickets spawned were well worth it. Next time it hits $500,000+ I may buy another ticket or two. In the meantime, we’ll focus on making a couple of those dreams come true in the coming years by properly managing and spending the assets we have been blessed with.

How about you? Is the lotto your only shot at wealth or is it evil? What would you do with ½ a billion dollars?

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