Lottery Tickets Are a Complete Waste of Money. Unless You Win.

Every Wednesday Husband takes son up to the local grocery store and buys $5 worth of lottery tickets. Once the numbers are in hand they go over to the bakery and get a free cookie for Son. Each leaves the store feeling like they hit the jackpot.

I think lottery tickets are a waste of money. The chances of winning are so infinitesimally small, the money could be much better spent, or saved, or invested, yada yada yada.

Husband doesn’t see it that way.

After dinner Husband sits at his computer and does research on what numbers have hit recently and decides what numbers he wants to play. Whether the jackpot is $3 million or $30 million makes no difference. He and Son leave the house eager to make each one’s dream come true.

Each night they come home happy and excited for what’s possible. Son gets immediate gratification, as he’s usually eaten the cookie by the time he gets home. Husband talks about what we’d do with the money, how big of a jackpot has to be won before I’ll “let” him quit his job. I admit the fantasy is a nice one, as we both picture us living in our mountaintop home in Asheville, doing generous things for our friends and family and enjoying all the things money can bring.

We talk about going to Tallahassee to pick up the money, how he’ll take a short leave from his job before going back until they find a replacement. We talk about finding a hotel that will takes dogs so we don’t have to leave ours at home.

Sigh. It really is a nice fantasy.

Husband never watches the numbers being drawn. He likes to wait until the next day to check them before he goes to work. So every Wednesday night before he goes to sleep Husband tells me he hopes he’ll be quitting his job the next day and that we’ll be on our way to Tallahassee…

So, I don’t say anything about the $5 a week, or $260 a year.

A man needs his dreams.

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6 Responses to “Lottery Tickets Are a Complete Waste of Money. Unless You Win.”

  1. Sara Says:

    I get where your husband is coming from. A few bucks is a small price to pay to dream big. Having those “what if” questions is worth every penny.

  2. I won! I won! « Are You Going To Be This Way The Rest of The Time I Know You? Says:

    […] won! I won! June 2, 2008 — BeThisWay No, I didn’t win the lottery. I won something better because I won’t have to pay taxes on it, or share it with a group of […]

  3. Finance Gets Personal » Carnival of Money Stories #62: A Week of Money Stories | Finance Gets Personal Says:

    […] – what did you buy? BeThisWay at Are You Going To Be This Way The Rest of The Time I Know You? tolerates her husband’s $5 per week lottery habit because it allows him to dream. My husband also buys PowerBall tickets on occasion and says […]

  4. Karl Says:

    “Lotteries are for fools and loosers”,tell youre husband to get a life and get out on his own,thats if he doesnt want to work for a stinkin boss for the rest of his life.

  5. Bob Says:

    Funny, I won $10 a couple weeks ago, which really whetted my appetite for more. So, in the past couple weeks I have not even gotten one number correct, making me think the whole thing is fixed to make people win every now and then, thus leading them to play more and more because they one that one time. It is easy for the Lottery computer to see what combination will NOT win, because every Lottery machine inputs the data into it.

  6. Neil Says:

    I also buy $5 worth of tickets once a week. It’s an extremely small price to pay to dream. I know it’s likely that I will not win but that feeling is worth more than anything $5 a week can get you. Just to put it into perspective, buying lunch 5 days a week for $8 ends up costing you over $60,000 over 30 years. Conservatively playing the lottery will cost about $7000. I’ll pack my lunch and play the lottery.


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