By Daniel Goodwin
I rarely know anything about what is going on with the lottery, but I ran into three people that I respect and admire who were in a hurry to buy lottery tickets. Seems like the big jackpot is up somewhere now in the stratosphere that would make a receptionist richer than an oil Sheik. The question is should you take a chance?
Many say yes, after all what’s a couple of bucks for the chance for a life of fame and fortune? I know I’m not going to win, but still it’s “fun” right? These are the things you hear if you ask someone about buying a ticket. Now, you’re not going to get any judgment from me here, but let me give you another side to this lottery idea. This other side is called fantasy.
For a quick buck we get to live a short fantasy. What’s wrong with fantasy you say? Sometimes nothing, but when fantasy and money collide I usually become interested and have something to say about it. After all it was fantasy that motivated people to invest their life savings with Madoff, Stanford, or some other money villain. The fantasy that was offered? High returns and little to no risk. And who wouldn’t want that? I certainly would, but investing my money on a fantasy is something that will surly cause me pain and hardship over time.
Today however there are thousands of Wall Street Charlatans who will offer you and I the fantasy to invest our hard earned capital in what is nothing more than a casino. Options, derivatives, precious metals, hedge funds……Trust me, there are lots of “sophisticated” ways to lose your money and very few prudent and sound ways to grow your money. But, just like sex, fantasy sells. Why else do you think they do it?
Scam artist and fantasy peddlers have been reading our playbook for years. They know how our brain is hardwired. They know We WANT to live in a fantasy world. We want something for nothing. How else can you explain out entitled culture who has bought into the malignant thesis that the world owes us all a living somehow. Political villains use our frailties and our desire for fantasy to win elections and bankrupt countries all because we WANT the fantasy.
Fantasy football today rakes in billions of dollars on gambling. They don’t call it gambling of course, because we all know gambling is inherently destructive. Rather it’s even called “fantasy” football, and what’s more American than football? Are some people using gambling fantasies in a healthy way? I am sure there are, but many are not. I’ll save that for another day.
Now I want you to think about that dollar your about to buy a lottery ticket with. You likely had to earn a buck twenty five to be holding that dollar in your hand. That dollar can grow and compound just like an acorn can become over time a mighty oak tree if invested prudently. Plant that seed today, or buy a fantasy. It’s your choice. Just keep in mind your five times more likely to get struck by lightning three days in a row than to win the lottery, and you’re playing on that slippery slope called fantasy.