Opinion: The Lottery Frenzy: For a Standard $300 Mil It’s just Not Worth My Time

powerball 550 tlsWhen I win the lottery, will it change me? Will the sudden wealth be a blessing or a challenge? I’m not a gambler – I believe in hard work over luck – but even I am caught up in the current hype. Admit it, you’ve allowed yourself to fantasize just a bit; I can’t be the only one.

For a cool $700 million, we will have to decide. Will I/my wife quit a job to provide our children with the benefits of a stay at home mom? Or will we both continue to work and demonstrate the value of a good work ethic? For the possibility of standard $300 million winnings, eh, it’s not worth a ticket purchase.

Will we stay in our current home that till now seemed perfect for us and continue to raise our children with the understanding that we have everything we need? Or will we upgrade and expand and build and be able to increase our chesed and hachnosas orchim the way we always dreamed? The problem is a few hundred million dollars won’t be enough for that. We can’t consider it unless we’re talking about a cool $900 million.

After taxes and maaser and paying off debts and tuition bills and setting up trust funds and mailing donations to our favorite mosdos and helping our parents and siblings….we’d be lucky if we have 50% left. To have a mere $100 million to ponder over? There’s no way that’s enough; such pocket change is not worth my time.

But for over one billion dollars – netting me  $500 million – now THAT will drastically improve my life so much more than $50 million. For that large a sum, it’s worth waiting on line with similarly hopeful – yet hopelessly foolish – people and try to buy a precious ticket to an obscenely large jackpot that I won’t win.


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  1. Did you or anyone you know have an argument with spouse or kids about the theoretical way you would spend the money if you win? Hmmm… What might be the implications if you DID win?

  2. Why so black and white, all or nothing? Maybe you win just 50 million. Sure, it does not cover your dream life. Definitely, makes a dent. If you got a 50% raise in salary would you not take it because it doesn’t provide for dream life. If I won just $10,000 I’d be happy with the extra income. Don’t get the writer’s point. $300 million is not worth it…?? (As for the moral implications, whether or not it changes your outlook on life… that’s another topic.)

  3. first of all to Jbow unless multiple people win you cannot win $50million. Secondly, way too much thought is going into this. As long as you’re not addicted and spending more than a few dollars on tickets, we all spend a lot more on much more foolish things. it’s 2 bucks! give it a break.

  4. If Hashem wants me to win I will, with only purchasing 1 ticket. i did my Hishtadlus & bought 1 ticket, hoping He will make me win as much as it will be good for me and make my life easier but not get to my head!!!

  5. Myrods is 100% right. The oilam doesn’t realize, if u win over a few million $$, ur life, as u know it, is over. You won’t have a minute menucha. You wanna win big ? By a MOE raffle. That’ll last forever.

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