Why Winning the Lottery May Not Be So Great



My mom loves to play Mega Millions when it gets high.  Normally that is somewhere in the vicinity of $200 million or more.  The odds of winning the lottery are normally somewhere between 1 in 170 million and 1 in 250 million.  


Here are somethings that are more likely to happen than winning the lottery.


lotteryBecoming an Astronaut: 1 in 12.1 million

Dying in a Plane Crash: 1 in 11 million

Being a Movie Star: 1 in 1.5 million

Being Crushed by a Meteorite: 1 in 700,000

Getting Audited by the IRS: 1 in 175


Speaking of the IRS, tax season is coming upon us.  For those that do their own taxes, TurboTax is a great tax software program.


Lottery Dreams

I am under no illusion that we will win the lottery, but in terms of entertainment value, we definitely get our money’s worth by spending a couple bucks.  We converse about all the amazing dreams that would be fulfilled.  


lotteryI talk about how I’d reach FIRE even earlier, travel around the world and volunteer as a financial counselor.  My wife talks about how she would love to work in an orphan ministry abroad and also travel as well.  My mom talks about how she’d help those less fortunate to obtain adequate medical and dental coverage.  Finally, my dad would love to play golf around the world on some of the most prestigious courses.  


Lottery Realities

It’s an incredibly fun conversation.  Like I said, well worth the couple of bucks it costs to play into the lottery.  Here’s the thing about it; while the chances are low that we’d ever be able to actually win the lottery, the chances are incredibly high that if we did, we would become bankrupt and miserable.


According to this article by NY Daily News, 70% of lottery winners are bankrupt within 7 years.  I had to double check that stat because it seemed awfully high to me, but it was confirmed by the National Endowment for Financial Education.


Typical Lottery Story

lotteryIf you google “lottery winners bankrupt”, you will come up over 200,000 results and fascinating articles on how people blew through their money.  Most of them go like this… the person was living paycheck to paycheck when they won the lottery.  They then quit their job, buy a big house and new cars (usually plural), and spend tons of money on partying and exotic vacations and further lavishness.  Then the money runs out, and they are forced to go back to working the same job they had before the lottery.


What My Financially-Minded Self Would Do

lotteryI thought to myself, how in the world can people really become bankrupt within 7 years after winning millions in the lottery.  I realize that I am in the personal finance space, so I probably have an obsession that exceeds the normal person.  If I won $10 million and even if taxes took half, I would still have $5 million to play with.  Based on that, I would probably invest it all in the stock market and live off the 2% dividend.  I don’t live a luxurious lifestyle, so I know I could more than live off of $100,000.  Thus, I wouldn’t touch the principle, so my financial seed could grow.  


Implications of Overnight Wealth

lotterySo I started to research what others do, and I found it astounding.  While I may not know any lottery winners, I do know some people that have made money overnight.  I go to church with a bunch of NFL players who became wealthy overnight through the NFL.  


I’m not sure who gave them financial advice, but a couple of them drive really nice cars, and they always dress well.  A friend shared with me about his experiences in the NFL.  It definitely provided a great deal of insight into what is going through many athletes’ minds.


Sports Illustrated ran an article a couple of years ago that said 78% of NFL players are either bankrupt or are under financial stress within two years of retirement.  An estimated 60% of NBA players go bankrupt within 5 years after leaving their sport.


Who Your Friends Are Matters

lotteryI read this quote the other day, and I think it really explains why athletes and lottery winners go broke.  Basketball player Danny Schayes stated, “Guys go broke because they surround themselves with people who help them go broke.”


This got me thinking about the concept of who you surround yourself with is who you will become.  This is something that my parents impressed upon me constantly from a young age and something that I still try to incorporate today.  I also adhere to, “If you want to have greatness in your life, surround yourself with great people.”


lotteryI can definitely say that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my parents, my wife, and my small group of friends that have encouraged and pushed me to where I am today.  Of course, it’s easy for me to sit on the sideline and say that I would never go broke if I won the lottery.  But as I said before, who you are connected to matters.  And above all, happiness doesn’t come from any amount of wealth you can obtain.  


So readers, if you won the lottery, what would you do?  Do you think the people that you surround yourself with would help increase the chances of your wealth remaining, or do you think you’d get swept into bad money habits?  Share your thoughts below.

Mustard Seed Money

Welcome to the website. A mustard seed is a very small seed but astonishingly grows very large over time. My hope is that through your financial journey that your small investment in time, money and faith will grow beyond anything that you could ever imagine.


  1. I think all the stories of people misspending their lottery winnings, or even committing suicide when they find out they win, just goes to show that money isn’t the answer to all our problems. Rather, more money just makes us more of who we already are. So yup, I have no doubts that all us pf nerds would reinvest our lotto winnings since that’s what we’re already doing with our spare money!
    Daniel Palmer recently posted…Why I Don’t Do My Own Oil ChangesMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Daniel!!! I hope that I would reinvest the money. Although I’m sure there are some fun things that I could spend it on if I thought I had unlimited funds 🙂

  2. I don’t play the lottery because of the horrible odds, but if I were somehow given a ticket and won I would:
    -Hire an accountant and a lawyer
    -Claim the winnings annonymously
    -Pay off my mortgage
    -Fund my three kids college
    -Depending on the size of the winnings, take a percentage of what’s left and use it to fund future vacations, camp for kids, home repairs, etc.
    -Open a Vanguard charitable account for 10% of the remainder
    -Invest the rest

    I wouldn’t tell anyone and would continue to live as I always had. After a few years I would evaluate if I could downshift to a less stressful job, or perhaps start a new business. Living those few years as I always have would help me reset my living expectations and make sure I don’t make any rash mistakes.
    Liz@ChiefMomOfficer recently posted…Writing Your Investment Policy StatementMy Profile

    • I think that’s incredible smart Liz!!! I have a feeling that my first bad day at work I’d say I don’t need this and move on 🙂 So I may have to set expectations for myself while not working 🙂

      • The people commenting on this thread wear rose-colored glasses.

        First I believe in every state with a lottery, you cannot claim your lottery prize anonymously (above a certain dollar amount) because of sunshine laws.


        Hypothetically, if someone won a $200 M lottery I would do point out the following

        You may think you will continue living in your house but but as the article states, $200 M will bring con men out of the woodwork. If you own you house under your own name, it is a matter of public record. You will get besieged by con men and worse. If you have a phone number under your name, your phone will ring off the hook

        Instead, I would set up a trust or shell company and purchase a new house & car under the name of the shell company. You have to sell the house because if you transfer the house from your name to the shell company’s name, you have left a paper trail to your new legal entity. Same with your car(s).

        You may think you can keep your kids in their current school but your kids’ friends, teachers, friends’ parents, etc. are going to treat them differently. It will likely be confusing and frustrating for you much less children. You will likely hire a private tutor or transfer them to a private school. Priority #1 for most is the education of their children. Although not 100% correlated better education means higher tuition.

        You think you can go to the grocery store, your gym, your old workplace or anywhere where they know your name? You will either be subjected to criminals trying to scam you or strangers or “friends” pitching you their “can’t miss business plan.” Even your well-meaning friends may behave differently towards you. The experiences will become so distasteful that you will hire personal assistants to take care of everything possible.

        After one scary incident, you’ll consult a security consultant who may suggest you get a concealed weapons permit or a bodyguard. You’ll wonder if your kids need one because although you would rather die than give some criminal your money, you can’t say the same about your child’s life. You won’t be able to have any accounts under your own name because somehow people seem to track you down. You may feel uncomfortable in public because you are more aware of the dangers or because you are packing heat.

        In order to protect your assets, privacy, safety and sanity, you will have to spend money in ways you cannot imagine. When you have an attorney on retainer, personal assistants, private tutors and private security, getting double coupons at the Piggly Wiggly isn’t so important. In general, I would say you will become isolated, suspicious, guarded and fundamentally changed from the person you were before winning the lottery.

        The only good thing is after a few years, you can probably go back to some semblance of your old life because people will assume you lost all the money & the criminals move on to the more recent Lotto winners.

        • Wow you paint a bleak picture but you are right. I never considered all the downsides to the wealth and I wonder if this is how celebrities feel. Sounds like prison when you should really be on top of the world, I would be living in this paranoia at all times. Thanks for sharing!!!

          • Honestly feel sorry for the commenter MSM, although well answered.. If someone approached the question in this way wow I can’t imagine the type of things they must have gone through.. It’s a shame and appreciate that yes there are bad things/people etc out there although we usually attract or find what we expect..

            Keep up the positive articles MSM, love em mate! 🙂

          • The downside is not the wealth. As you alluded to in your stealth wealth post, the downside is that anyone with an internet connection knows your full name and how much your lottery winning is.

            Regarding Jef’s comment that “we usually attract or find what we expect.” That is not the case for big time lottery winners because their names and winnings are made public. The article (and many others) tell stories about lottery winners being targeted. Common sense tells you they would be targeted. Imagine walking around with a sign 24/7 that says “My net worth is $177 Million.” Do you think you would be more or less likely to be targetted by criminals?

            Jef probably thinks I invite home burglaries because I lock my front door when I leave the house. Frankly, I think most of the comments on this thread completely ignored the reality of the albeit hypothetical situation. There are plenty of documented real-world experiences to back up my assertions. Jef can take his sympathy for me and shove it. He doesn’t know me.

          • I definitely see your point of view Dan. I think those with a high net worth like the Kardashians pay for that security for a reason.

            Jef is a really great guy from down under and may have a different experience. I don’t think he meant any disrespect 🙂

  3. It’s a really good question and a fun thought experiment!
    I would definitely use about $50k to hire a general contractor and fix up loose ends in my house. Next, I’d use about $1m to finance some rental properties. Then I’d invest $1m in dividend stocks, and diversify into various other asset classes. At this point, I’d have a decent amount of money coming in the door each month and I’d be set up nicely. Time to head over to Amazon to buy some books!
    Erik @ The Mastermind Within recently posted…The Mastermind Within Goals Check-in – January 2017My Profile

    • Hahhaha!!! I would love to get in some more reading time as well 🙂 BTW…I’m reading Originals based off your recommendation. It’s fascinating so far. Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Gosh, I LOVE fun posts like this one! I can’t believe the percentage of folks of go bankrupt after winning. I definitely would’ve double-checked that STAT, too!
    Let’s see, I too am in the personal finance world and I surround myself (at least virtually) with folks like yourself. I’m fairly certain I would pay off our mortgage, but enough rental property to fund our lifestyles and invest the rest, with the intention of never having to touch it. Then I would become a full-time financial blogger and enjoy myself. Pretty much what I’m aiming for now. It would just be accelerated a few years. But I can almost guarantee I would never be filing for bankruptcy. 😉

    Mrs. Mad Money Monster
    Mad Money Monster recently posted…5 Creative Ways To Enjoy A Frugal Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Mrs. Mad Money Monster!!! I would love to buy dividend paying stocks and then travel the world. I’d love to have enough money where I can live within the budget 🙂 Looking at our currently lifestyle I think it’s doable but I wouldn’t mind upgrades on the plane every once in awhile 🙂

  5. I don’t play the lottery due to the odds, but if someone bought me a ticket for Christmas and I won, I’d do much the same as you. I’d live off the interest/dividends. It would likely speed up my existing plans but it wouldn’t change them. As for the company we keep, I think to some extent your right. When your young and impressionable your company can drive you to do stupid things. I’d like to think as you get older though you become set in your ways and the behavior of your friends matters less. I learn more these days from watching some friends failures then I do from watching the success of those who have it figured out. I just need to be experienced enough to recognize the difference.
    Fulltimefinance recently posted…The Secret to My Financial SuccessMy Profile

    • I love those thoughts!!! I definitely agree with you and can attest that I have learned more from bad bosses than good bosses. I think at times I take for granted the great bosses that I have come across and not soaked up as much as I could. On the otherhand I made sure to stay clear of the techniques that bad bosses have employed over the years.

  6. This is so funny because Mr. Picky Pincher and I talked about this on Saturday. We saw the Power Ball was up to some gigantic amount and I joked about buying a ticket. It’s nice to think what I’d do with all that money. 🙂

    But yeah, I don’t believe in wasting my money on lottery tickets in the first place, so there’s already a 0% chance of winning for me. It’s unfortunate because many lottery winners aren’t educated on wise money practices, which is why they often go bankrupt. It’s sad.

    Anyhoo, if somehow we won the lottery, I’d absolutely quit full-time work. I’d take the monthly payouts instead of the lump sum (you pay less in taxes and have a regular stream of income). I’d use the funds to pay off debt, invest, and buy a few rental properties.

    And then maybe take a small vacation for funsies. 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What A Frugal Weekend!My Profile

    • I have to admit the only thing better than winning the lottery is imagining what I would do with the winnings and all the places I would see and go 🙂

      Sounds like we both have similar ideas to what life would look like 🙂

  7. I did come into a chunk of money a few years back. My father had left me something quite valuable and I got $50K for it. I was shocked. But I think I was quite sensible with the money. I paid off our remaining debt, replaced our 10 year old furniture, and put some in savings. I did replace our car, but I made a sensible choice and bargained even harder for a good deal since I was paying cash. The windfall definitely improved our life in tangible ways and I was proud that I didn’t go crazy. My biggest pleasure was little splurges, like buying shoes for the whole family at once or buying all new linens and towels without having to spread it across pay checks. That was fun!
    Adrian | Adrianscrazylife recently posted…The Secret to Paying for College with All CashMy Profile

    • Wow that’s a nice chunk of change for sure!!! Sounds like you were incredibly smart with your purchases and even set aside some fun money. Thanks for sharing!!!

  8. I wouldn’t mind a small amount of extra money, but at some point the extra money would be more of a burden than a blessing to take care of. It just changes so many dynamics. Even giving it away is a big responsibility. You can’t just dump 10 million on a small organization. If the take home was under 5 or 10 million, that would be perfect. 100+ million, no thank you.
    Ms. Montana recently posted…The Highlight ReelMy Profile

  9. While I’m not a fan of the lottery, I do give the lottery credit for helping people dream about the future. If only people could realize a million dollars or more is a very reasonable possibility, if they save/invest diligently over a number of years. It is hard saying no to our current desires, but definitely worth it in the long run.
    NinjaPiggy recently posted…The One Thing All IRA Investors Must KnowMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing NinjaPiggy!!! I definitely think that we don’t dream big enough and settle on smaller attainable goals. I do wonder what would happen if we really stretched ourselves and what it would do 🙂

  10. You can’t win if you don’t play, so it’s not even a remote possibility for us! 😉 That said, I’ve actually thought about this before. And I came to the conclusion that there would be a point that it would be more of a problem than a blessing. A mil? Sure – I’d pay off the mortgage, buy rental properties, work on the blog and said rental properties. I’d also make sure my family was taken care of. Bug anything beyond that? No thanks!

    I have an acquaintance who won several hundred thousand at the casino a few years ago and has nothing to show for it today.
    Amanda @ centsiblyrich recently posted…Do you fight about money? The best first steps to takeMy Profile

    • Wow I can’t even imagine winning all that money at a casino. I have a feeling that I would become overconfident and could win even more money down the road. Good thing I don’t visit Las Vegas 🙂

  11. I had read that same statistic a few years ago, and like you had to research it to make sure it was true. To me it just shows how important financial education is. I’ll bum off your $2 and dream away. I could easily live off the $5M net from a dividends standpoint which would set me up for life, however I would want to double that so I could eliminate all debt from my immediate circle of family/friends. Anything beyond that would either be a burden, or would need to be invested into financial education.

    • That would be an interesting concept to take the extra money and use it towards financial education for those with less financial acumen. I’d love to share my knowledge full time and help out others 🙂

  12. We usually play when the jackpot is 100+ million. It is fun to think about the possibilities of winning that type of money. I do believe past winner and pro-Athletes have a tough time with the transition. Going from moderate income to the millions and just don’t know how to handle.

    We would invest, volunteer and help others with a big windfall.
    Brian recently posted…Net Worth Update: January 2017My Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Brian!!! I definitely think it’s hard to go from making millions a year to nothing overnight. Hopefully a lot of athletes get good financial advisors to help navigate life afterwards!!!

    • You know that would be a really interesting post and something I’ll have to look up. I know there are a couple of banks that have a lottery like results but it’s been a couple of years since I last checked.

  13. I think most of us in the personal finance blogosphere would probably be more prudent with out money. =) I think one tough part about winning the lottery or coming into a lot of money is relationships with people. Sure, the people who you surround yourself with may help you go broke like Danny Schayes said. We usually imagine professional athletes with their entourage and people sucking money from them. But I can see a lot of friends and family members coming out of the woodwork…some with real financial crisis asking for help. Do you turn them away? You can’t help everyone…where do you draw the line? There may be some resentment and expectations that you treat whenever you go out or that your gifts should be extravagant.

    • I definitely think it’d be really difficult to say No. I am a people pleasure and wouldn’t want to upset my friends. I think that’s how most of those guys get in so much trouble. They don’t wanna come across as the bad guy.

  14. I agree that coming into such a windfall of money in such a public way seems like a recipe for disaster. There would be so much pressure to make all the wrong decisions with that money. However, since you have asked us to play along, if I won the lottery I would help make sure my parent’s were secure in their retirement, I would then pay off my husband’s car loan, and if there was any money left I would buy a small hobby farm! I love the idea of urban homesteading, but I love the idea of taking it a step further 🙂

    • My wife when she read this comment said Yes, that’s what I want. She wants a hobby farm more than just about anything else. I have a feeling in the future we might do that whether we win the lottery or not 🙂

  15. Here is a theory I have heard a few times. You take the combined net worth of everyone in the US. You divide it evenly and give each adult an equal share. Within 10 years, 80% of the money would be redistributed back to their original distribution. It implies that 80% of the people have the net worth they “deserve.” That would be deserve in the economic (not moral) sense of the word.

    People that play the lottery are typically in poor financial shape & not financially literate. Add to that people they know and barely know asking them for money. Con men & grifters are targetting them. Another statistic is that a high percent of lottery winners divorce within a few years of winning the lottery.

    My father used to say he would rather win $10,000 if his name was kept anonymous than $1,000,000 if his name was made public.

    • Great post Dan!!! That would definitely be an interesting experiment and based on some of the stories I read seems incredibly plausible. I think most people would pay lip service but like you said it would probably even out like you said. Thanks for sharing!!!

  16. Ahh, the pure joy of wondering what to do when you win the lottery. I am also one of those greedy players that won’t buy a lottery ticket unless it’s at least $50M. Once I bought it, I would dream of buying land and build my own little town and have my family and friends live near me and pay minimal rent. My immediate family get to live rent free of course.

    If I have money left, I’ll also invest in the stock market and live off the dividends.

    Oh yeah, I will splurge by buying a nice cottage by the lake and try to catch my dinner during the nice and warm summer months.
    Leo T. Ly @ isaved5k recently posted…The Second Step To Saving A Million DollarsMy Profile

    • While my wife would love to live in a farm in the country. I would love to live by the lake and fish all day. I love to be alone with my thoughts and catching some fish 🙂 That sounds like paradise!!!

  17. My husband and I just started to get serious about debt repayment and saving for our future. We never play the lottery but I would like to think that if we won we would make smart choices and invest.

  18. Great read! In some ways I feel bad when former mega star athletes go broke. However, it is unfortunately a very common occurrence. I guess that’s what happens when you start making millions in your early 20’s and can buy some pretty fancy toys.

    I’ve only played the lottery once and that was about a year go when the jackpot reached an all time high (or at least close to it). And even then it was just the office pool….let’s just say I didn’t want to risk being the ONLY one in the office that didn’t get a share of the winnings if we won haha 🙂
    Andrew recently posted…5 Financial Mindsets To Improve Your LifeMy Profile

  19. Great read, MSM. It just goes to show that money is not the answer to everything. It can and will run out eventually, especially if you have no clue how to manage it. I’m like Amanda… I’ll never win because I don’t play. If I did win, I would pay off all of my debts, put some aside for Little Random Guy’s education, and invest the rest and live off of the interest and dividends.
    SomeRandomGuyOnline recently posted…Financial M&MMy Profile

  20. Such a fun topic! We were just discussing this yesterday. Mr. COD has a buddy who insists that everyone, no matter how smart they think they’d be with lottery winnings, if it actually happened, would change their tune. We don’t agree–we believe we’d do as many here have said (invest most of it, pay off debts for us and loved ones, put kids/nieces/nephews through college, be charitable). But it’s true we can’t know for sure. Out friend thinks we’d blow it all too fast, like the majority do. I think the anonymous win would be best, too; it’d be so hard to say no to everyone who would come knocking!
    Mrs. COD recently posted…January Daily Goals: How Did Mrs. COD Do?My Profile

    • I think that’s my biggest fear in that I would become overconfident in my abilities and really screw things up. Once I quit working I want to be done forever 🙂

  21. We used to buy a powerball ticket whenever it got over $100 million, which was a lot less often before they doubled the ticket price. I saw it as a cheap form of entertainment to allow myself to dream about what I’d do with the money. There was an article in either Money magazine or Kiplinger several years ago about a guy who won over $100 million in the lottery and had a goal to become a billionaire through investing it. They did an update on him recently, and he had some bad timing and bad decisions, but still had quite a bit stocked away. I see myself doing something similar. I’ve always been an accumulator when it comes to money and not a spender. I’d buy a couple fun toys and upgrade my golf clubs, but I’d likely set some lofty investment goals to shoot for.

    • I remember that guy but never heard what happened to him. I remember he had hired a team of people to help him grow his winnings. Sounds like he would have been better off buying an NFL franchise 🙂

  22. “70% of lottery winners are bankrupt within 7 years.” I actually think 90%+ of those reading this blog – or any personal finance blog – would not go bankrupt if they won the lottery. For the average person who doesn’t pursue financial literacy it’s a definite possibility, though. I’m sure if I won I wouldn’t go bankrupt, but again I think it depends on who we are talking about!
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…21 Websites to Help You Start Investing TodayMy Profile

  23. Cool post MSM. I think it’s crazy that such a high percentage of lottery winners go bankrupt. I mean, with that much money, just invest some of it. I would do something very similar to your strategy. I would invest in equities and live off the dividends.

    Now, I don’t really play the lottery much. I will play occasionally through work pools and if the numbers get high enough. It is fun to think about the possibilities sometimes. I am sure I would travel a lot more. However, for the most part, I would use the extra money to invest and be a full time blogger. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Graham @ Reverse The Crush recently posted…Personal Development Goals for February 2017My Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Graham!!! I think you’re like 99% of the PF bloggers in that they would invest and live off the dividends. That would definitely be a nice lifestyle 🙂

  24. I always say I wouldn’t want anything to do with winning the lotto. Too much of a hassle, and winners always talk about people who contact them with sob stories or threats of offing themselves if they don’t send money. Not. Interested. 🙂

    • I was waiting for someone to turn down the money 🙂 I definitely think it’d be easier to accept the money if I was anonymous. I’m not sure I wanna deal with all the crazies that come out of the wood works. But it would be tough for me to turn down $100m especially since I could hire bodyguards to keep them away 🙂

  25. We buy the occasional ticket when the amount gets crazy high too. As you said, the mega million dream is worth a couple bucks for the entertainment value. I’d like to think that the money wouldn’t change me. I enjoy saving money too much to blow it stupidly. No doubt the money would come at a heavy price of annoying people looking for handouts and the lack of privacy most likely. Oh well, probably nothing we will ever have to worry about anyways 🙂
    Mr Defined Sight recently posted…Are Extroverts Better Money Earners?My Profile

    • I definitely agree the real value is in dreaming about the money and the fun conversations around it. When else do you get to talk about such fun things in life 🙂

  26. We buy a ticket or 2 when it gets high, like now for instance, but other than quit work I don’t know what I’d do. I’d probably even hold off until it hit one of those days you’re talking about where I’d say, “I don’t need this, you guys have fun, I’m out.” 🙂

    Otherwise, we’d do the same as most here. Invest the majority of it, use it for charity, and then relocate to somewhere with 4 seasons, topography, and good schools for this kids. No major lifestyle changes though other than not having to watch our spending as closely. Since we don’t really shop and buy stuff all the time anyway, then it wouldn’t be too big of a deal I don’t think.

    Who knows what would happen if we actually had all that at our disposal?
    Mr. SSC recently posted…January 2017 Spending: Our Money Went Where?My Profile

    • Hahaha…my wife would love to get away from four seasons. She wants one season which is summer year round 🙂

      I wouldn’t mind traveling around the world trying to catch summer in every location 🙂

  27. It’s unfortunate that lots of lottery winners and football players go bankrupt after a couple of years. It just shows that money isn’t everything in life as no matter how much we have, it will never be enough for the individual if they don’t change their spending habits.

    Although this is the case, I don’t mind purchasing 1 or 2 tickets when there’s a lot of money to win. It’d just be a nice buffer to live off of if I win and I’d still try to keep my lifestyle as low as possible. It’ll just mean I’ll get to occasionally reward myself a bit more than usual.
    Smart Provisions recently posted…Net Worth Report: January 2017 EditionMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Smart Provisions!!! I definitely agree that spending a couple of dollars on the lottery isn’t going to break the bank. Although I realize that my chances aren’t that high, it’s still fun to think about.

  28. “I would probably invest it all in the stock market and live off the 2% dividend”

    I’d do a similar thing. I would want to have as little liquid as possible. But before doing that, I would give some away to family, friends and charity. I know it’s easy to say, but I’m already starting the habit this year of allocating a portion of my savings per month to charities to get myself in the habit.
    SMM recently posted…Steps in Buying a Big Screen TVMy Profile

    • Thanks awesome SMM!!! I probably should have started out by saying I’d give to the church that it’s ingrained. Kinda like paying taxes for me. So great reminder 🙂

  29. Wow. I always wondered what happened to the people that win the lottery. I’m not sure what I’d do exactly, but I imagined I’d put a large portion of it into savings, just because I’m a huge savings person.

    • Putting into savings would definitely be better than spending it all like some of the people I read up on. I want it to last a lifetime, not someone else’s 🙂

  30. If I’m going to come up with a fun thing I’d do if I won the lotto, I’d buy an island, probably not too expensive 😉 haha.. In all seriousness though my main focus would then be on investing and generating income through shares, real estate etc and then being able to give back as much as I’d can..

    Appreciate though that winning the lotto isn’t necessarily the greatest thing!

    • Why didn’t I think of an island before now 🙂 I would love to have a private island somewhere in a remote place of the world. Obviously if I’m that rich I also have internet and a great food and drinks 🙂

  31. If I won the lottery, I would travel the world giving it away and helping people. I’ve already owned sports cars, motorcycles, airplanes, etc… and that stuff does not make me happy. I’d rather live a life of giving back, and fortunately I have found that it is actually so easy to achieve in real life! 🙂
    Primal Prosperity recently posted…What should we teach kids about money?My Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Primal Prosperity!!! Isn’t it amazing when you give away that you filled more satisfied then will you receive. It took me a long time for that to actually sink in.

  32. “Guys go broke because they surround themselves with people who help them go broke.” So true! My mom always said “Birds of a feather flock together” – and anytime it was said was a negative connotation towards those we were hanging around, never positive! 🙂 She was so right!

    I don’t play the lottery but I love the dream of winning it. I realize the easy wealth has a very dark negative side, but I think the brain does some marvelous things when it thinks big. I often ask the boys (both teens) what they would do if I gave them $1000, then 10k, then 1 million. It is interesting to see how their answers change over months now years. Dreaming big helps motivate them for the future. They aren’t old enough to play the lotto but I hope when they are they choose to invest in their future instead of the future of the 1 out of 170 million winner!
    Miss Mazuma recently posted…I’m Officially Famous For Being In DebtMy Profile

    • My parents were the same way in trying to keep me on the straight and narrow and not hanging out with people that would be down my all too fragile character.

      I can’t even imagine if I ever made it big at such a young age or even older if I didn’t have someone to help hold me accountable 🙂

  33. I love your take! Money circumstances may change, but money habits do not. They just scale up to however much you make (or win).

    What would I do if I win? Live my life pretty much as I do now, except I would travel more. I would set up a foundation that offered matching grants to things that I care about: cancer research, giving poor children good educations, etc.

    Basically, I would realize upon the goals I set out for my blog and work to make the world a better place for my fellow human beings.

  34. If I won the lottery today, I’d RE 1.5 months earlier than planned (i.e. I’d keep working for another month and half and then call it quits).

    I do play the lottery in small sums under certain conditions:
    – Powerball or Mega Millions over $200 million and only play a single ticket at a time
    – CA Super Lotto over $35 million and only play a single ticket at a time

    I view the little bit I spend as a voluntary tax / charity as part of the money goes to education funds. I just wish it was earmarked for financial education — haha. I also enjoy the conversations with my wife about what we’d do if we won.

    Unfortunately, it is primarily the poor playing the lottery (and spending a full 10% of their paychecks doing so). They play in volume and even when the jackpots are very low.

    This makes it all the more likely that when there is a winner that it’s someone who sucks at managing money — giving rise to all the probable events you documented in this post.
    Trip recently posted…January 2017 Non-W2 Income ReportMy Profile

  35. Once when I was backpacking in Nepal, I met a Brit in his mid 40’s who had won the lottery back home in the U.K. after blowing most of the money and a bad divorce he decided to sell off everything he had accumulated, put the money into investments and took off to travel around South East / South Asia helping people as he went. He would stop by orphanages and hospitals throughout India and Nepal, and whenever he noticed they had a need for something, like running water, toilets, beds, etc, he would wire money to himself purchase all of the supplies and build out the upgrades himself.

  36. In my case, I’m thinking of the lotto here which I participate in–you pay NIS 60/ month (about $18) and are included in weekly drawings. A lot of people call it a dreaming tax. 🙂 However a chunk of the money raised goes to fund public projects/ the arts so one can tell oneself that they are doing a good thing by playing. 🙂 Anyway, the first drawing of of every month is for NIS 1.5M (about $405K).

    I would (1) pay the taxes (2) 10% to charity (3) pay down a big chunk of my mortgage (4) put another chunk aside into savings. Goal would be for the money to allow me a bit more financial (and eventually, life) flexibility, and not luxury.
    Gila Halleli Weiss recently posted…Where the Buck Stops: an Introduction to the Board of DirectorsMy Profile

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