I don't know about you, but I've heard a lot of people talking up their chances in tonight's big lottery.
Here's a couple of things to think about before you start spending what you hope will be your winnings.
You have a similar chance of your ticket winning this draw as you do of drowning in the bath. Or being run over by a bus. But I don't see anybody spending time obsessing about possibilities like these.
In fact, the chances of your ticket winning in this lottery is something like 1 in sixty-million. And since one-chance-in-a-very-large-number is a number very close to zero (and the larger the number the closer it is to zero), this means you have roughly the same chance of winning whether you have a ticket or not.
I know a lot of people who buy a Lotto ticket for a bit of “fun” – but I confess I’ve never quite understood where the “fun” comes in when you’re throwing away money you can’t really afford to lose. And I know a few people for whom the “hope” of winning, however small, is the only hope they ever give themselves of turning their lives around -- the hope of some sort of escape that can be delivered without effort. I confess I’d much rather see them exchange the uncertain “hope” of a winning Lotto ticket for the far more certain success of education, entrepreneurialism and hard work, but the seductive siren or reward without effort has them hooked.
But I’ve won something on Lotto. Since Lotto started in 1985, I've probably won around $6000. I've "won" that by not spending five dollars a week buying a ticket.
How much have you "won."