As humans, we are masters at wasting time. Sometimes, we waste time, and we don’t even realize it. Other times, we waste time and money all in one fell swoop.
Playing the lottery or gambling of any form is often a waste of time.
I know, you’ll tell me, but what if I win? What if I am the one who wins millions of dollars or even just thousands of dollars?
When you say this, I will simply look at you and say, you got very lucky.
The Odds of Winning the Lottery
I am not going to waste time listing out all of the odds for every lottery game out there. Instead, I am just going to give you a simple example from wonderpolis.org.
“In a lottery in which you pick 6 numbers from a possible pool of 49 numbers, your chances of winning the jackpot (correctly choosing all 6 numbers drawn) are 1 in 13,983,816. That’s 1 shot in almost 14 million. If you were to buy one lottery ticket each week in such a scenario, you could expect to win once every 269,000 years.”
Do you have 269,000 years to spare? What if we added up the time it took you to buy a ticket every single week for your adult life.
Let’s assume you started playing every week at age 18 and played the lottery all the way to age 75. That’s 57 total years of playing the lottery every week for a total of 2,964 lottery tickets.
If it takes you, on average, 10 minutes to buy your weekly lottery ticket, you will waste 29,640 minutes of your life, which is roughly 3 weeks of your life.
It may not seem like much, in the grand scheme of things, but wasting 3 weeks of total time for a 1 in nearly 14 million chance to hit it big is a waste of time, IMHO.
Why Playing the Lottery is Wasting Time
While the time commitment I spelled out above may not seem like much, your time is better spent. I bet some of those people out there playing the lottery every week spend far more than 10 minutes choosing their numbers and getting their tickets.
Wasting time and money is what the lottery is all about. It’s an exercise in offering a massive payoff to the one in 14 million in order to get a ton of people to waste time and money buying tickets.
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Gambling is Another Waste of Time
Another way people waste time that goes along with the lottery is gambling. Yes, it can be fun on a vacation to Las Vegas, on a Cruise Ship, or to Atlantic City. However, if you’re not gambling for pure entertainment, it’s a waste of time.
Those trying to make a living gambling or trying to hit it big, are completely wasting their time. Not only are they wasting their time, but they are also exposing themselves to possible addiction and financial ruin.
Many people become gambling addicts and lose their life’s savings. Others think they may hit it big, but never do and end up losing their family over their addiction.
IMHO, gambling is a huge waste of time and probably even worse than indulging in a weekly lottery ticket.
Scratchers are an Even Bigger Waste of Time
Maybe you rationalize playing the lottery as a good use of time because you choose scratcher tickets. They are a bit more fun than picking numbers and come with better odds. However, the payoff is smaller, and they are a huge time suck.
Have you ever bought 10 scratchers only to return back for another 5 and another 2 until you stopped winning free tickets or the prize equivalent to the cost of a ticket? This process wastes more time than just buying a weekly lottery ticket for sure.
Even if you only return once to cash in, you have to go to a lottery location twice with scratcher tickets.
While the odds of winning are higher, chances, are you’ll spend more than you ever win with lottery tickets of any type.
Final Thoughts on Wasting Time with the Lottery/Gambling
As humans, we have to be very careful with our time. The life expectancy in the United States, according to USA Today is 78.6 years for someone born in 2016. That’s 943.2 months or 4,087.2 weeks if you’re lucky.
Sure, those numbers seem huge, but they are tiny. Your lifetime is but a blip on the cosmic map, and it will be over before you know it.
You don’t have time to waste. I believe you should stop wasting time playing the lottery or gambling (outside of doing so for entertainment, on occasion) and focus your efforts in another direction.
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