Lottery: Is It Really A Stupid Tax?

We’ve all heard the jokes. I don’t play it often, but I have partaken in the so-called tax of the IQ challenged. However, I have evidence that it is a viable investment and a secret technique for being stupid tax-free! Ok, that didn’t sound right. You’ll get the picture.

100% ROI

Got your attention? Couple weeks ago, I needed change for the bus. I’ve been going Metro and been racking up some savings. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough quarters to get home. I went into my local 7-11 and needed to buy something in order for them to open the register. I slapped down a dollar for a quick picks Mega Millions lottery ticket and got my bus fare. I didn’t think too much of it since I needed the change. I don’t know how it is for others, but I do feel some joy, entertainment, and hope from the time of purchase to the time the winning numbers are picked.

The California Lottery asks “What can a dollar do for you?” Under the right mindset, it can do quite a bit! But if you are banking on this as an investment, you’ll be better off setting a goal, creating a plan, and following through. The odds are stacked against you so come back to earth after your trip to Fantasy Island. But in this case, I caught a break. I hit the mega number for a $2 payout. I doubled my money for a 100% ROI! I beat the odds this time, but here are the real odds from the California Lottery website. 
The overall odds of winning any prize in MEGA Millions will be 1 in 40 and the odds of winning the jackpot will be 1 in 176 million.

Discover Million Dollar Giveaway

I’ve been a long time user, but drifted away using my Discover card as it is not widely accepted. When they launched their million dollar giveaway, I couldn’t resist. Now many of my transactions start with, “Umm, do you take Discover?” Any time I make a purchase, I get an entry into their year end sweepstakes. I get the same euphoria and joy of a lottery ticket without spending a dime. Like I said, I’m living stupid tax-free! I really need to phrase this better.

Final Thoughts

I absolutely agree with the lottery is a stupid tax joke if you are relying on the lottery as an income generator and your fast track to a better life. Instead, why don’t you discover what you are passionate about, learn the needed skills, and find a more viable income stream. On the bright side, some of the lottery money goes back to the education system. So if you don’t hit the jackpot, consider it a donation to your state. We know California needs it. Finally, if you do play the lottery, keep your feet on the ground and enjoy the daydream and hope your ticket brings. We can still dream as adults, right?

For more info, visit the California Lottery and Discover’s Million Dollar Giveaway.

Stay Inspired!
Buck

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Financially Consumed posted Yakezie Plutus Juyo and featured Do Girls Have It Easier, Superman?

25 thoughts on “Lottery: Is It Really A Stupid Tax?”

  1. The thrill of anticipation is a powerful emotion. Lottery agencies know this and ‘play’ us nicely!

    But hey, what’s a dollar for my beloved state, California!

  2. If only other people saw the lottery in the same way as you do. Unfortunately (and I say this as someone who used to work for a lottery operator) there are so so so many people who buy lottery tickets religiously, believe wholeheartedly that they are going to win and see a lottery jackpot as the only means of improving their lives. Very sad indeed.

    Congratulations on your mega $2 win!

    1. Thanks! I’ve seen news reports of people lining up religiously as the jackpot grows. Thanks for the insider scoop. It is sad, but perhaps their situations are so bleak they need a glimmer of hope just to make it through the day.

  3. Not only is it a tax, but it is taxing the poor! Remember all the winners who were unemployed and they bought the ticket with some of the last money. I remember when they started the lottery and how it would be good for education. I haven’t seen any of those riches in my school system.

    1. You’re right. It is taxing the poor. Most of these people can’t think of any other way to better their situation. I wish there is a way to spread the jackpot. Not sure how. It would be a win-win because many big mega jackpot winners end up blowing it all. If they had smaller prizes to more winners, hopefully the money will be used better. Perhaps the lottery department needs to adjust the school system percentage of proceeds as well.

    1. Shameful, but it’s helping the education system right? I said this earlier, but I wish there was a way to spread the winnings a little. Rather than change one person’s life, why not change a few 100 or 1000? Better use of funds right?

  4. I am not familiar with tax related to lottery. But it is good to take the risk of the odds of winning the jackpot in the lottery. It is also good to use the money for investment instead of buying a lottery ticket for me. Maybe I should do that if I have enough savings and if I already stopped buying lottery tickets in the near future. Thanks for the interesting point of view.

  5. I agree that there are a lot of better ways to spend your one dollar that will be far better return. In the UK about half of the money goes to good causes of some description and most of the people that play come from poorer backgrounds. I wouldn’t be so against it, but the causes that the money goes to tend to be of most benefit to the middle class. It seems that taking money from the poor to pay for the pursuits they don’t use is a bit unfair.

    Congratulations on your win

  6. I am not a typical lotto player myself. The odds of winning millions is next to nothing as you pointed out. Due to this, I consider money for lotto tickets to be part of entertainment expense. :)

    1. Tempting, but I think we can keep it in control. Some po’ folks see this as their only way out. I don’t think anyone would go for this, but why don’t change the prize to financial education. Not as sexy, but more beneficial in the long run!

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