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Personal Finance Mentoring - Integrating the practical and emotional elements of your money.

Blog

Lottery Play ...

Megan deBoer

I was in the check out line.  To the left of me was a long line of people waiting for a chance of winning the giant lottery.

The checker was telling the couple ahead of me that he "would not tell anyone else" if he were to win.  I heard under these words a deep fear of people taking it, or people taking advantage of him.

I heard an interview with a previous lottery winner who shared his advice to "buy as many tickets as you can afford" as the only real last minute strategy to have any chance at all. (Please.  Please. Please do refrain from this)

I also heard that you would be 25x more likely to be elected president of the United States this coming November than to win this lottery.  So if you think at this very moment you have a shot at the white house, you will have even less of a chance of winning this lottery.

This billion + lottery brings a fascinating range of reactions to the idea of wealth.  There is as much fantasy as there is fear.  Perhaps it is because the odds are so low that so many people play (and have an even lower chance of actually winning) - because they might not really want to win.  

Fear about how you will be taken advantage of.  Of how things might change.  Of making bad decisions and losing everything. Of losing touch with those you love.  Yet we also want to win. To never have to 'worry' about money again.  It is this tension that I find fascinating.  The fantasy of having wealth and the simultaneous fear of loosing everything else.  

The lottery ticket gives us a moment to come close to the idea of the possibility of it being us - and for a moment we can enter into that land of "what if...".

So, I invite you to explore this from the luxury of your current state.  Who would you be if a windfall landed in your lap?  What do you imagine this would stir up in you?  What do you fear it would stir up in your life?  Do you trust yourself with more money?

Because until we start resolving our own inner conflict with having - or not having - money, we will be uncomfortable being confronted with life being different than it is today.  A substantial raise, an inheritance, a windfall, a lottery winning... Imagine yourself in a different financial situation.  Imagine the best vision of yourself with more... who are you?  This is the most intriguing and beautiful question... and maybe the best return on that $2 investment in this fantasy game.