How often do you buy a lottery ticket? And how seriously do you bet on your chances of winning? A recent article in the Daily Beast news blog definitely caught our attention.
There’s a lottery in the US called Mega Millions that offers a jackpot of some $500 million. The article listed 15 things that are more likely to happen than winning the Mega Millions.
- death by vending machine – one in 112 million
- dying in an airline related terrorist attack – one in 25 million
- having identical quintuplets – one in 15 million
- becoming president of the United States – one in 10 million
- dying from bee hornet or wasp stings – one in 6.1 million
- dying from being left-handed – one in 4.4 million
- becoming a movie star – one in 1,505,000
- dying in a plane crash – one in 1 million
- death by flesh eating bacteria – one in 1 million
- getting struck by lightning – one in 1 million
- dying in the bathtub -one in 840,000
- dying in an on-the-job accident- one in 48,000
- murder – one in 18,000
- dying in an asteroid apocalypse – one in 12,500
- dying in a car accident- one in 6700
The odds of winning mega millions – one in 176 million
So you may be wondering why I think this was worth repeating. I’m amazed at the number of people I have spoken to whose idea of retirement planning is buying lots of lottery tickets. While there’s always the one in 176 million people who in fact does win the jackpot, it’s probably not the preferred way to do financial and estate tax planning.
Organizing your affairs to accomplish your financial goals requires planning and discipline. But if you’re willing to make those commitments, you will have much better odds than death by vending machine.