Growing up, Ma and Tom taught me a healthy way to perceive gambling: Go in with the attitude that you are spending money on entertainment, not winning or losing. Since you can’t count on the win, it only makes sense to participate if the game itself is an enjoyable activity worth your hard earned dollars.
The PowerBall lottery got me thinking about all this, because this weekend’s draw was $600 million and my state now participates, so I was able to go out and get myself a ticket.
For me, playing the lotto is definitely high in entertainment value. I always play the same numbers, and I only ever have that one entry. For the $1 or $2 investment, I have hours of entertainment fantasizing about what I would do with all that money. I’ve tried dreaming about the win without putting my money on the counter, but it simply isn’t the same. I need that minuscule chance of actually winning for my imagination to take off.
Come to think of it, the dream about winning the lottery is the only time when I seem to embrace my creative side. I create really elaborate plans on how I’ll spend my winnings. This goes on for days before the drawing, and then when all my numbers don’t come up (who am I kidding – none of my numbers ever come up), I am sure that no one won so that the universe could give me even more with the next drawing.
Yes, I understand the odds are pretty close to the same that someone will randomly send me a check in the mail for the whole lottery amount as actually winning it, but that doesn’t dim the dream at all in my eyes. With the hours of daydream time that I get out of my single lottery ticket, it is a much better return on my entertainment dollar than going to the movies and just as vivid!
As always happens with this fantasy, though, reality hit yesterday when I had to face the fact that someone else won MY lottery. And so it goes … until the lottery gets big again, and I get to start all over! You only have to be lucky once.
Does anyone else out there play the lottery? or What did your parents teach you about gambling?
8 thoughts on “Lottery Delight”
I don’t think my parents ever talked to me about gambling – but I like what yours told you. I agree – if you think of the money spent as entertainment – then you can probably keep it in check. And love your observation that the time spent dreaming of your win is fun, is INDEED entertaining, makes for fun dreams, and brings creative thoughts. I’ve gambled in Vegas – just slot machines. I’ve never bought a lottery ticket but my husband has and he always buys in twos so i have fun imagining too. Where I go weak in the knees is the HGTV Dream Home giveaway every year. I enter and enter on-line and imagine myself living in one of the fantastic homes and 5K they give away – I can feel the furniture, I can see myself cooking and baking in the fantastic kitchens, I imagine guests staying with us, getting to know the new community, and then damn if it doesn’t always go to someone else. I don’t understand how that happens when I’ve even imagined them coming to my door with the balloons and tv cameras. Oh well – like you said – the anticipation is a delight anyway.
I’ve done some slot machines in Vegas and Tribal Casinos, but that bores me terribly. I’m not willing to put in a dollar a pull, so the payouts, if I get any, are tiny. The lottery is my gambling of choice. There is no way I will spend myself out of house and home with a max of $4 a week, and then only when the jackpot is over $200 million. The daydreams are rather half-hearted below that.
I loved the thoroughness of your fantasy about the HGTV Dream Home Giveaway. I could imagine your guests there as well!!!!!
A college statistics prof showed us the ludicrous odds against ever winning as a class lesson on probability. I figured my dollar was better spent on a Diet Coke. 🙂
Fortunately I haven’t had to choose between the two: The diet soda would win over the money day dream every time!
Generally speaking, I don’t play the lottery. I can see the appeal behind it, but I just don’t get into it. My wife on the other hand plays it when the jackpot gets high. She won one of the low winnings once. I think it was $4 or so. So that was pretty fun.
I’ll spare you the statistics of how unlikely it is to win since I’m sure you’ve heard them all before. But if you’re going to play, I like the approach of it just being fun. I think it is fun a little. Just thinking of what you’d do with that money is fun. And it’s a good way to use your imagination too.
I think I’m as likely to get struck by lightening twice (or was it three times?) as win the lottery. But since I don’t want one and really want the other, I tend to ignore certain analogies! 🙂
I figure so long as I can afford my less than $20 a year lottery habit, and I don’t actually spend the money before I earn it, all is good. It is a great way to stretch my often neglected imagination.
Hi there Tammy. I don’t play it myself. Why would I want to take all the fun out of trying to achieve things in life and have it all done for me in one go 🙂
What an interesting take on it, Shaun. I hadn’t thought of it in the same way as not wanting any spoilers for books or movies. It is a HUGE jump to the end, but hopefully only the beginning of the next series.