300 million reasons why lottery tickets make a terrible gift
Ronnie Foster had a big win in the North Carolina lottery. Video Elephant
Florida, like many states, has a commercial that pushes buying lottery tickets as holiday gifts. The ad actually calls scratch-off tickets “the must-get gifts of the season,” saying, “Pretty much everyone is going to want them.”
That may be true – people probably do want them – but that doesn’t stop them from being a terrible gift. Giving someone a lottery ticket is similar to buying them a carton of cigarettes: It may be what they want, but your present supports a bad habit.
Lottery tickets – whether they’re “scratchers” or multistate games such as Mega Millions or Powerball – sell a pipe dream. You spend a dollar, or maybe up to $20, for an instant ticket, and you might win millions.
The problem is the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against you, so playing really amounts to throwing your money away. You’d be better off gifting your loved ones a sure thing, such as a gift card with real value or actual cash they can use how they like.
But somebody has to win.
There’s no exact formula, but lotteries generally pay back 50% to 60% of the total money bet as prizes. That may sound like a lot, but it’s well below the 86% minimum payback that Nevada mandates for slot machines and video poker. Most Las Vegas casinos set their machines for closer to 90% payback, and some forms of video poker pay out close to 99%, according to LiveAbout.com.
Slot machine payback works a bit like the lottery in one way: The big payouts account for much of the money paid back. Yes, someone will win that prize, but the odds of it being you are tiny. Yes, you might hit a smaller jackpot on a slot machine (the kind that keeps you playing), or you may win a few bucks on a lottery ticket or scratch-off card (which you might spend on more tickets or cards), but you’re astoundingly unlikely to take home the big prize.
A website for the Iowa lottery spelled out how bad the odds are of winning the big prize in Powerball or Mega Millions:
The odds of winning the jackpot in Mega Millions are about 1 in 302.6 million. The odds of winning the jackpot in Powerball are about 1 in 292.2 million. (The odds are based upon the total number of combinations available to play in each game.)
Games with lower top prizes come with better odds, but a one in 10 million chance to win $1 million is still an irresponsible way to spend your money.
So many better ways to spend your money
The average American spent $219.54 on lottery tickets in 2017, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data. That’s money that could have been invested. It may seem like a small amount, but if you invest that money, over time, you’ll have a massive return.
If you take $200 each year for 30 years and invest it in the stock market, assuming an annual return of 9% (the low end of the historical average), you’ll have nearly $30,000. To put that another way, you invested $6,000 and will end up with five times that amount.
Investing is the opposite of the lottery. If you invest in the stock market – and buying low-cost index funds is a smart way to start – history says that over the long term, you’ll win. If you start early and invest $2,000 a year instead of $200, you will have nearly $300,000 saved. If you start at age 20 and save for 45 years to retire at 65, that same $2,000 per year earns you around $1.1 million.
People may think that they need the lottery to become millionaires. The reality is that all they need is time . and to make better choices about how they spend their money.
The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.
Offer from the Motley Fool: The $16,728 Social Security bonus most retirees overlook
If you’re like most Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. A handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. One easy trick could pay you as much as $16,728 more . each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after. Click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.It may seem like an innocent gesture, but it reinforces bad behavior.
Christmas lotto tickets
For the blockchain century
EL BURRO DE ORO | THE GOLDEN DONKEY
CHRISMAS AND NEW YEAR LOTTERY FOR THE BLOCKCHAIN CENTURY
Ticket for 2 January 2018
- 81 SERIE
- 1/20 PARTICIPA cion
- PRICIO 19,99 Eur
Extraordinary Christmas Gifts
1. Choose you ticket no
2. Choose your tip
Make more from your luck and win the double jackpot
3. Why the christmas lottery?
Every sixth lot wins Distribution up to 2.38 million dollers The biggest lottery in the world
Play Christmas and New Year lottery online
- A Ticket to your dreams
- This is how the Christmas & New Year lottery works
With a top prize of at least $ 950000 and two chances to win on each ticket you could be winners this christmas
Tap the Christmas and New Year Lottery online in just five easy steps!
Only those who play in El Burro de Oro, can also cheer
Half of looking forward to the draw of the Christmas and New Year Lottery on 5 January 2019. Be there and take part in good time by placing your “El Burro de Oro” ticket online with just a few clicks.
The right ticket number is important
Participation in the Christmas and New Year Lottery is very easy. Just choose a ticket number with your lucky numbers. If this lot is available for participation, you can submit it.
Get more profits from higher shares
Most lottery players take part in the Christmas and New Year Lottery with tenths (“Décimos”). Small money from the high profit probabilities. If you want more in your win, choose a fifth, half or whole lot.
Buy a ticket online and keep your fingers crossed
Every sixth lot wins! Already from 4.99 Euro per participation you get the chance to win the total of 2.3 billion Euros. Make this Christmas a special one and hand in your completed ticket in a timely manner by paying it conveniently and cashlessly at the box office.
Cheer on, win and pay off
You will be automatically notified by e-mail immediately after the draw of the winning numbers of the Christmas and New Year Lottery. All winnings will be paid to your desired account.
How do I win the Christmas Lottery jackpot?
To win the Christmas Lottery the numbers you pick have match the outcome of Spain’s Bonoloto and Poland’s Mini Lotto. To win the jackpot your six main game numbers must be the same as those in the official Bonoloto draw whilst your bonus number must be the same as the first number drawn in the Polish Mini Lotto.
You can always find Christmas Lottery results right here at Multilotto.
How much can I win on The Christmas Lottery
With a regular ticket you can win up to €10 million. Boost your ticket and you will be in with a chance to win a merry €1 Billion!
How much does it cost to play the Christmas Lottery?
A single ticket for the Christmas Lottery costs just €2 for a regular ticket and €6 for the boosted jackpot ticket.
When does the Christmas Lottery draw take place?
The draw takes place every day (except on Sundays) at 9:30PM CET.Christmas Lottery 2019 Official Tickets from Christmas Lotto, Playing the lottery is a huge Christmas tradition it’s so popular that nearly every American person buys a ticket for Lottery Ticket. ]]>