Unfortunately, neither you nor I won the last big mega-millions jackpot. Since misery loves company, let’s see what we’ve learned. First, we are once again reminded, “You can’t win if you don’t buy a ticket.” More importantly, we’ve learned you won’t win if you do buy a ticket. You say, wait a minute, people win all the time. You’re missing the point here. Other people win, but you and I never win. We lose all the time! Be honest, what have we really won that was worth the dollars we risked? As a fourth grader I won a Queen album at the local skating rink. I played the song “Another One Bites the Dust” backwards to see if it said “smoke marijuana.” All it did was break my record needle.
You and I are losers. There I said it. Somebody had to tell us, I thought it might as well be me. Now before you get too defensive, let’s look at this rationally. Remember all those extra Big Macs we ordered to get that illusive missing Monopoly game piece? Did we ever get Boardwalk and the accompanying millions? No, all we received for our excess consumption of two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese was rapid weight gain and the occasional free small fry.
You and I don’t win the free drawings. Someone else is going to walk away with the all expense paid trip to the Bahamas. We, on the other hand, are going to win a two hour timeshare/air purifier/vacuum presentation. Face it, we are not the lucky ones. Unfortunately, I know what comes next. You are going to distance yourself from me. We will start running in different circles so that you don’t feel awkward about this intervention. But before you go play bingo with someone else, please listen to my final plea.
I understand that you could use the cash. Sure, everyone could use an extra 350 million dollars now and then. I know that I can only sell so much plasma to pay off my student loans. But before you waste another dollar on lotto, the race track, or your local casino, you might want to reconsider your current plan for financial freedom. Why risk your financial future on such ridiculous odds? You have a better chance of being struck by lightening or of being eaten by a circus bear than you do of winning the lottery. You don’t want those kinds of odds in your favor. I say no to mega-millions and no to bear maulings. They are both clearly in the same cosmic sphere of improbability.
Why not turn that wasteful gambling habit into something more noble. There are many worthy organizations, causes, and individuals that could put your money to better purposes. A dollar or two given to these groups will surely provide a far greater return than your best gambling prospects.
Money given to help those truly in need is never wasted. With this in mind, I ask that some of you reconsider participating in the next big gambling craze. Instead of pooling your tickets to increase your odds, try pooling your resources for a worthy cause. You may not win mega-millions but you won’t feel like such a loser.