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?