Many people dream of winning the lottery because they are enticed by the rags to riches fairytale. They hear about lottery winners who quit their jobs and got out of debt, and dream that they’ll be next. If this could happen to someone else, then with a little luck and determination, it can happen to them too. What they don’t realize is that playing the lottery is exactly what’s stopping them from becoming rich, and keeping broke people broke.
So why do people keep themselves in this trap? It’s easy to think that you can change your life by spending just a couple dollars. And if you’ve been playing lotto games for years with a few wins and many losses, you think you shouldn’t give up now.
Also, probability calculations are difficult to make. So what are your chances of winning the lottery? Hard to calculate, but there’s a chance to win, and that one chance is what people anchor their hopes on.
Statistics aside, the reality is, the more you play, the more you stay where you are. Your income level won’t change.
According to labor statistics for 2017, the median wage for American workers was $44,564 for a 40-hour workweek. The minimum wage pays a full-time worker $15,080 a year. They would need to make another $11.95 per hour to keep their family out of poverty. With that income level, they can’t even afford to rent their own apartment if they live in a major city. Because of their lack of economic mobility, it’s difficult for them to become wealthy.
Middle income earners can become wealthy, and those considered poor or broke can become middle class, but broke people won’t become rich. That’s why lotteries appeal to people who are financially struggling. They lack the financial confidence to make investment options that will increase their income in a more predictable way. So they choose the easy way to riches, by spending a couple dollars in the hopes of randomly making money. And that’s just the start of a vicious cycle.
Broke people spend a portion of their income on lotteries, which keeps them poor, and keeps them buying more tickets in the hopes of one day getting out of poverty. It’s why lotteries have become known as the “tax on the poor.” And they aren’t alone.
Those in the middle class spend their income earnings on lottery tickets also, instead of paying off credit card debts or investing in more solid investments. There is a pattern here.
People are looking for a quick way out of their financial troubles, without first learning how to handle large sums of money.
Let’s look at some statistics. Most people who win the lottery end up losing it all. At around the seven year mark, 70% of lottery winners will go broke. Worse yet, lottery winners are more likely to declare bankruptcy than the average American. And winners are not healthier or happier than the average American.
Clearly, winning the lottery is not the way to riches. Playing the lottery just keeps you broke or where you are financially and here are three reasons why.
2. It Conditions You To Believe You Get Something For Nothing
People buy lottery tickets in the hope of winning hundreds, thousands, or millions of dollars after spending only two or three dollars. That kind of thinking tells your subconscious that you want to get rich but without this opportunity you would never make it.
It’s easy to buy a dream for almost nothing. For a few dollars, you can have a 1 in 150,000,000 to 1 in 600,000,000 chance of winning the lottery. There are stories of people winning millions upon millions of dollars and losing it all a few years later.
They bought luxurious houses and cars, sunk money into family businesses, and lost everything when spouses sued them and family members asked for their share. The winners had the mindset that they could get something for nothing, and keep their wealth without doing any work.
People who spent time building up their wealth, such as business owners, learn how to protect their wealth by planning how much to spend, how much to save, and how much to invest. They set goals and spend time everyday learning how to accumulate and manage money. As a result, affluent people will only spend 20-30 percent of their wealth on their home, for example. It’s different than what lottery winners would do.
One lottery winner spent $1 million of their $2.76 million dollar winnings on a home, and the rest on a car and travel to cities around the world. No consideration was given to generating more money from their riches, or saving a portion of it, so when an emergency came, there was no preparation.
The fire gutted the house, which was underinsured, and then they had to pay for repairs and temporary accommodations. This story of this winner is a case in point about why people who struggle with their finances will always struggle with their finances. They don’t invest in their financial future by learning how to handle large sums of money, or by learning how to give value.
Entrepreneurs and businesses offer value to the marketplace through the services and products that they sell to help customers with a problem. When you offer value, and get paid for your value, you are getting something for something, not something for nothing. You will have learned how to generate revenue, or wealth, and when you have this skill, you can always make more money even if you lose it.
2. Buying A Lottery Ticket Tells Your Subconscious Mind How You View Wealth
Most people believe that it’s not easy to win the lottery. They believe wealth is limited because each dollar you have came to you at another person’s expense. If you make a dollar, then another person lost an opportunity to make that dollar. There is a limit to how much money is available, and that scarcity mindset applies to the lottery.
A scarcity mindset keeps your wealth attraction power down because it means you believe in the zero sum game. The exact amount that you gain is the exact amount another person loses.
The zero sum game:
+$100 win -$100 lose
The lottery is an example of a zero sum game. Not additional wealth is generated. There is a person who wins the money that people put in, and there is a person who loses the money they put in. So subconsciously you make sure you don’t make the money. You don’t want to hurt the finances of someone else.
But you need to think of it this way: no one invests in the lottery. They play the lottery. So if you want to increase your wealth, not temporarily by getting the winning ticket, but for the long term, you need to change your mindset. Don’t view money as a zero sum game, or you’ll be working hard with the emergency brake on. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that when you release the brake, and change your mindset, everything can move forward. You can be more productive when building your wealth.
This is called the flow of money.
When you’re thinking in terms of abundance, not scarcity. If you know how to make money, then if you lose it, you know how to make it again.
3. An Abundance Mindset Doesn’t Happen Immediately After Winning Money
One reason lottery winners lose their wealth over time is they have a scarcity mindset. They haven’t experienced being wealthy before, so when they suddenly have enough money to buy what they want, they spend what they want. And too soon, the money is gone.
When you have an abundance mindset, you see wealth differently. You see opportunities for making money everywhere, not just in one lottery ticket.
The abundance mindset extends to how you organize your home. For example, what do you have on your refrigerator? There are people who put their account statements and bills on the fridge. Every time you open the fridge door, that attracts more bills and more statements. You’re looking at debt.
Some people have bills, receipts, statements, and binders in their drawers. Every time you open those drawers, those items are what you see. I have cash in my drawers so every time I have to get a pen or something else from my desk, I have to push some cash aside.
This overflow of money is a wealth trigger. It’s hard to feel scarcity when you have cash coming out of your drawers.
Another way to focus on wealth and not debt is to get rid of debt immediately. When I get a bill, I pay it right away or take it to my accountant. I don’t want to spend more than five to ten minutes focusing on my bills. I want to focus on bringing in the wealth, not losing it.
What we focus on is what we attract. Mainstream media tells us about acts of terrorism, food shortages, refugees from war, global warming problems. If you focus on the negativity, that’s what you will bring to you.
Avoid Lotteries, Focus On Other Opportunities
Be aware of what’s happening in the world, but also have a positive belief system. Believe that you can take all the money you can and the universe will always make more. Remember, rich people do not play the lottery to make money. Hardly any winners are CEOs, senior executives, successful entrepreneurs, or successful professionals. They don’t believe in random luck and they won’t risk their fortune on speculation either.
People who are struggling financially should take that lesson from the rich. Search for opportunities to make money, not just by getting lucky and having the winning ticket. These opportunities can be increasing your income or making investments. Money is not limited. It’s a gift from the universe.
What do you have on your refrigerator? Comment below.