One of my favorite television shows of all times is most definitely the Simpsons. During one of my many late night blogging sessions, I decided to put in one of the Simpsons episodes that I’ve taped throughout the years. In this episode, Marge had written a novel, and Homer refused to read it. When Marge questioned him about it he stated, “I swore never to read again after To Kill A Mocking Bird gave me no useful advice on killing mocking birds what so ever.” Mr. Simpson learned a lesson that we will all learn at some time or another. A Book cannot be judged by its cover, and things are not always as they seem. It might seem like winning the lottery would be a very joyous moment for most people, but that’s not necessarily the case, at least for this blogger. I really don’t ever want to win the lottery, and here’s why.
Let’s look at the typical person who wins the lottery. Generally they are from a lower income neighborhood and do not have any real training when it comes to handling money. They somehow defy the seemingly impossible odds and end up with a winning lottery ticket. They happily sign their ticket and deliver it to the local gaming commission for the state. Not knowing any better, they take an interview with the local news and then it’s all down hill from there.
They are constantly hounded by people asking for money to start their business, to pay for their surgery, to help them out in some way or another. It gets even worse when family members start to ask for money. They say things like, “come on, you can afford it!” Family members begin to see you nothing more than a source of free money. This is certainly not the case for all families, but money does change people, usually in a very negative way.
After the initial hounding subsides, they have a big sum of money. They end up buying everything they ever wanted, because after all, they can afford to do so, right? Usually they don’t end up doing any long term financial planning, and spends to their heart’s desire. The money doesn’t last forever though, eventually they will spend it all and have nothing left. 90% of lottery winners become bankrupt after ten years. Statistically, this is a nightmare.
The divorce rate for couples that win the lottery is substantially greater than those of people who do not. Money fights and money problems are the number one cause of divorce in North America today, period. If you have a lot more money, you have a lot more to fight about. I wouldn’t want to put my marriage in jeopardy for any amount of money. There are things that are much more important than money, and my (future) wife is one of them.
Another reasons that I would never want to win the lottery, is it would prove that I am very bad at math. You die in several plane crashes and get hit by lightning a few times before you would win the lottery. Statistically, nobody that you ever know will win the lottery. People who play the lottery just can’t do math, period. I’ve taken 400 level math courses, and should know better than to play this fools game. Winning the lottery would tell the entire country that I can’t do basic statistics.
If I were to win the lottery, I could do whatever I want. I wouldn’t have to go to work anymore, because I had all the money that I needed. There’s no challenge in that. I like trying to make it in life. Most often people who are just handed everything accomplish nothing in their life, and that is not something I certainly do not want to be doomed to. I want to be able to work hard to accomplish something rather than just sit in my palace with ivory walls enjoying the so-called sweet life.
I could not feel good knowing that I was the beneficiary of taking money out of the pockets of poor people. I do not suggest that the lottery be outlawed, as people should be free to do as they choose, even if their choice is to make economically irrational choices.
When all is said and done, winning the lottery would definitely not be a good thing. Having a lot of money certainly won’t make you happy, and chances are it will throw one’s life into a tailspin. The money will probably be nice at first, but in nearly all cases it doesn’t last. You’d have to deal with all of the people begging you for money, and deal with all of the new burdens having that wealth has placed upon you. Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll work for a living.