Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Worst Investment?

While in graduate school my macro economics professor spent the better part of a lecture evening on why playing the lottery was a horrible investment of a person's money.  Statistically, the odds of someone winning are horrible.  And the odds of winning it big were even worse.

Yeah, I get it.  But I still play.

What my professor failed to take into account was that my $1 investment in a state lottery ticket brought me a lot of entertainment and joy.  Up until the point I realized I didn't win.  However, I'm not trying to get filthy rich.

I don't play the lottery because I have bills looming or think my life would be so much better with a large bank account.  I play the lottery (very infrequently) when I want to daydream about what it would be like to go on an around the world trip in first class while visiting my friends all over the world.  Or live overseas for a few months to learn a new language and culture.  Or give a ton of money to a worthwhile cause.  Or gift my family enough money so they can go on vacation.

Most multi-million dollar lottery winners don't end up well adjusted.  In reality, I don't need a large bank account just so I can blow it all on a sports car.  And I don't anticipate my one lottery ticket will allow me to do that.  However, from the time I purchase that ticket until the drawn numbers are announced I have daydreamed that I'm tooling around town in a Bugatti.  Or picking out a temporary apartment on the outskirts of Paris.  Or knocking on the door of a friend's apartment in Korea just to say hi.  Or donating a million dollars to a great local philanthropy.

After those moments of daydreaming I'll happily play the lottery again knowing I have a snowball chance in hell of winning.  Doesn't matter, though.  I'm investing my creativity and having a little fun while doing so.  Best dollar I'll spend all week.
What $1 can rent you for a weekend!

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