Why we stopped buying the lottery

My 2014 new year resolution: stop buying the lottery.

As we are coming to the end of the year again (so fast! I feel like I blinked and the year is over), I am doing some thinking and soul searching as usual. My first conclusion of what I learned in 2013 is that I am going to stop buying the lottery and I will tell you why.

#1. The Obvious: the statistical chance of winning is extremely small, 1 in 13,983, 816 to be exact (for 6 49).

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When I was getting epidural during birth, the doctors ran all the stats with me in terms of risk. I felt pretty good choosing when the chance of something bad happen was less than 1 in 1000. The chance of winning the lotto is less than 1 in 13 million, in English, that means you will almost NEVER win. But believe it or not, this is actually not the main reason I stop buying. Keep reading.

#2. The main reason: What would winning the lottery give you? Have you thought about that? No, I don’t mean the million dollar house, fancy stuff, travel that you are going to do, or the choice of quitting your job. I mean thinking REALLY HARD what more it would give you in life besides the material stuff, how it will make you happier.

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To answer this question, you need to answer another question first: what do you truly want in life?

  • If your answer is health, family, love etc, then winning the lottery is not going to help you.
  • If your answer is along the lines of achievement in career, then winning the lottery may even make it more difficult because you may be less motivated.
  • If your answer is time with family, working less, then I personally think everyone has a better chance budgeting or finding other work options to achieve this than waiting for the lottery. ANY other option you explore to work towards this goal will have higher chance of happening than the lottery.
  • If your answer is small material stuff such as bigger house, fancy car, great trips or designer clothes, here is the news, you can still budget or work to obtain these, with much higher likelihood of success.

For some people, if they really want a celebrity lifestyle they cannot earn, then buying the lottery is probably necessary. But if I were them, I’d re-examine the wants in life. Happiness does not come from living in a dream!

Maybe I am getting older, and thank God not crustier. I feel wiser than my younger days. When I look at my life, I feel blessed that I have most of the important things I want already: health (for now, really need to get on a work out regimen though), love, kids I adore, good friends, and the financial means to enjoy life to a modest extent. Sure, I want more, the shallow stuff too, like a well renovated house and a pair of killer Louboutins, and I will continue to work towards those, but I just don’t see how obtaining all those ALL AT ONCE will make my life happier and more fulfilled.

I’ve always been a dreamer and still am, but I feel like my life is speeding up, at least psychologically (kids will do that to you), and it is that much more important to enjoy it and live it NOW! So here is the ultimate reason why I won’t buy it anymore, at least not regularly (I won’t exclude the odd time that I get a crazy cosmic intuition :)):

I am going to save that $2.00 which gives me a ridiculously low chance to achieve the false hope that my life will somehow be better, to actually enjoy a good quality latte, and savour it while reflecting on how wonderful my life is at the present and watch the world go by – which is what I’d do if I were multi millionaire anyway! So by not wasting it on the lottery, I AM living the dream.

I will be too busy to hope for a lottery win, because I will be busy LIVING my life, working toward my bucket list, and becoming 10 million richer all of sudden is NOT on that list!

Happy new year!

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