Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mega Millions - Mega Mistake

With the whole Mega Million craze done and over with, people go on with their lives.  The lottery has to be one of the worst gambling rackets in America.  Millions of people lost money playing this game.  I play the game too, but from the sidelines.  Kinda like the game of Keno.  I enjoy playing Keno with my friends during lunch.  Usually we play to see how much money we would have lost had we actually bet money.  This is a reason why statistics, percentages, and probabilities are so important to learn.  If you are able to think in terms of probabilities, perhaps you'll stop from throwing that money down the drain.



The argument for the lottery.  It is going to a good cause...education!  You know what goes to a good cause?  Saving your money and writing a check to your local school district.  Heck, you could even give me the money.  I'll start a charity that would give out college scholarships to military members including dependents.  It would be very easy to pay out more money for education than the lottery does.

I think I read on one website that after payout and administrative overhead that the total amount going to education is about 4 or 5%.  So, spending $1 to send a nickel to education?  You might fool some other people, but it is time to get serious.

In my opinion, there are much better ways to lose money than to play the lottery, Keno, or going to Vegas.  Although, I've never been to Vegas, I'm sure it could be fun.  I just wouldn't partake in any of the gambling.  Going on vacation to lose money...nah I'll pass.  Doesn't make much sense to me.  If you go to see the lights, experience the shows and atmosphere...that I can understand.  Or if you want to get married by an Elvis impersonator.  However, why drive to Vegas to get married by a fake Elvis?  You could come to Dayton Ohio the birth place of aviation.  I'd be honored to dress up like Elvis and marry someone right here in Dayton.  I'd even sing.  Your choice of 3 songs include Blue Christmas, Blue Swede Shoes, or That's When Your Heartaches Begin.  I have been an officiant for my sister's wedding, and it turned out to be a beautiful wedding.  But, I wasn't Elvis...just myself.

Seriously...if  you'd like to gamble, you might as well play the stock market.  It has better odds of winning.  In fact, you could purchase a call or put stock option for $5 plus commission.  The chances are much better than Vegas, Keno, or the lottery.  What are the odds of winning with stock options?  Well, it depends on what you buy, but I'd say conservatively you could be looking at greater than 1 in 100.  The problem is you do not know what your payout would be.  Kinda like scratch off, you never know if you'll win nothing, win another ticket, $5, $100, or $500.  I'll tell you what you will win everytime with scratch off.  You'll will win a free trip to wash your hands to get that silver crap off your fingers.  

Another way to lose money with better odds is purchasing penny stocks.  Penny stocks can give you that gambling thrill.  You can watch your penny stock lose money each and everyday.  Someday...it might feel like you'll win big, then sure enough it will go back down.  But, wow!  What a rush it can be!  Plus you can tell your friends that you own 10,000 shares of a stock worth $0.005.  Yes, penny stocks can trade at half pennies.  Isn't that exciting!

I just do not have the personality or gambling tendency to truly understand why people gamble.  Most people are very risk adverse, but yet for some reason some people have make quick easy money.  Getting quick money, typically means losing your money even quicker.

I do think there is need of belonging when it comes to Mega Millions Lottery.  Almost if you aren't cool if you don't want to lose money like the rest of us.  Being cool and popular dies after you leave high school.  The only time you need to be popular after high school is if you are running for office.

I got pressured once back in 2009 to purchase a ticket with the office.  Everyone in the office was participating with the exception of me.  I'm not sure if John purchased a ticket or not...he can comment on this post if he wants to let us know.  I know he shared the cost of a ticket for this recent drawing.  Peer pressure gets the best of us.

Anyways the office joke was that when they won, I'd feel bad since I'd be the only one in the office while they would be out partying on some beach.  In my opinion that sounds like a pretty good deal.  I might have even gotten promoted!

Peer pressure to do stupid things like this occurs all the time.  If you wait it out, it's amazing how quickly everyone forgets.  I've checked Facebook, and not a single peep about the lottery.  Why?  All it would show was another bad financial decision.  Most people do not want to talk about how they lost money.  It's like getting an F in school.  Not something you go home to brag about.

2 comments:

  1. Let me know when you learn the Elvis classic "Hound Dog"...then I'll let you renew my vows with my wife. :)

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    1. Unfortunately, "Hound Dog" is more suitable for someone who sings tenor. I do not believe I can help you with this request. It just wouldn't do the King justice.

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