Gambling on a Gamble Called Powerball


Yes, I’ll admit it, friends: I purchased Powerball tickets for tonight’s drawing.

I don’t play the lottery very often. I do realize the odds are against me at a staggering level.

I’ve seen all the stories claiming I have better chances of getting struck by lightning, contracting Ebola within the United States, dying in a plane crash or even being hit by a random meteorite from outer space than picking the winning numbers to collect that now-$900 million Powerball jackpot.

But that’s just it: it’s $900 million!

Other than the billionaires out there, who I assume probably aren’t coming here every week to have “virtual coffee” with me as I pontificate on random topics, is there anyone out there who honestly thinks winning that kind of money wouldn’t truly set them for life?

Even if you win that money and you take the cash option, you’re going to get somewhere in the neighborhood of about a half-billion dollars. I don’t think I could spend that much money in 50 years. Sure, I could start buying outrageously expensive mansions and things like that, but would you be happy living in something that looks like Biltmore Estate when you find that you’re walking through your gorgeous home afraid to touch anything?

I couldn’t.

I think I could settle on a nice home, an even nicer security system — since having that much money means, of course, that you have to work that much harder to protect it — and maybe a luxury car. But then a big, big savings account.

A colleague of mine brought up an interesting point, however, about people only buying lottery tickets when the jackpots are so high, saying that when that many more people are playing, the odds are even more against you. Another colleague beat me to responding that your individual odds of winning don’t change, but as more people play, the odds you might end up sharing the jackpot do increase.

Fine. When the money is that high, I’m fine with sharing. And that’s saying a lot since I’m an only child!

Did you play Powerball this time around? What’s the first thing you’d do with the winnings?

Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.