Life Lesson: Winning the Lottery Isn't an Investment Strategy

lottery ticket All right, I admit it. When the Powerball gets Monopoly money high, a couple of us throw in a couple bucks to buy a few chances.

I suspect that’s not an uncommon practice among Americans—taking a flyer on an impossible payoff, because, I mean, you never know … right?

People who live paycheck to paycheck (or something very nearly like it) dream of not having the pressure of trying to figure out how to pay the electric bill and buy junior Zamboni driving lessons. Living continually on the edge of disaster wears you down. Dreaming about a life in which you don’t have to worry all the time about how you’re going to stay afloat seems entirely understandable to me.

But it’s one thing to dream about a life where you don’t have to worry anymore because you hit the government sponsored gambling jackpot; it’s an entirely different thing to have that as your primary longterm investment strategy. You know what I’m talking about—the people who regularly take money they can’t really afford and head down to the liquor store for fifty bucks worth of Mega-millions tickets and a handful of scratch offs.

Intellectually, we know it’s a lousy idea to plan our futures based on winning a long shot bet (the house almost always wins, right?). But the thought of a dump truck pulling up to your place and dropping off a mountain of hundred dollar bills is quite compelling.

Continue reading on [D]mergent . . .