For the last several days, it’s been nearly impossible to watch any news, read anything on Twitter, or even look at my Facebook timeline without hearing something about the record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot. At the moment, it’s estimated to be about $540 Million dollars. That’s a little over a half-Billion dollars. It’s obviously gotten quite a few people excited.
Just thinking about what a person could do with $500 Million dollars is a bit dizzying. When you think about how you would put $1 Million or $2 Million to use, there’s a limit to how far you can go. After all, a couple of Million only goes so far. But $500 Million? It’s hard to imagine an end to what you could do with that much money. In fact, according to Google Finance’s stock screener, there are over 600 companies with a Market Cap of under $500 Million. You could buy any one of them out!
Seriously though, I appreciate that the rules are what the rules are, and that, based on those rules, the jackpot has to be this large. But, really, what would any one person do with that much money? Me, I’d be set for life if I won $10 Million or so. Even if I allow for some frivolous spending. Heck, that’d probably set my kids up for life too, if they learned to manage it properly and not buy into every crazy pyramid scheme they could find.
According to the Mega Millions website, the odds of winning the jackpot are about 1 in 175,000,000. I don’t need to list out the long list of things that are more likely than winning this thing. Mathematically, it borders on impossible. There’s a reason that Dave Ramsey calls the lottery a “stupid tax”. He’s mostly right too. It’s not like you see too many people who have bought lottery tickets, not won, and are better for it. Surely, they could have put that money to good use somewhere else?
I wonder too, if having bought a ticket, there isn’t some psychological benefit from spending those few days in a “what-if” wonderland. Or, if doing so allows a person to remove themselves from their current obligations and responsibilities?
What I do know, is that I bought some tickets. Like I’m gonna let a chance, however slim, to win a half-Billion dollars pass me by. How about you? Did you buy a ticket?
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