It seems that everything is getting harder these days, including the lottery. The recent Powerball odds went from 1 in 175 to 1 in 292 million. More numbers have been added, which means the odds have gotten tougher. It’s also gotten twice as hard to win that second prize if you are lucky enough to get all of the correct numbers except the Powerball number.
Even though we have a better chance of being killed by an asteroid strike, millions of Americans still play the lottery every week. Millions still play the odds. And it’s not just the lottery.
Every year eager young actors, writers, and directors flock to New York City and Hollywood for a chance to make it big. Even though the odds of actually getting on the A list are slim, there is never a shortage of talent that wants to prove everyone wrong.
According to Harvard Business School only 18% of entrepreneurs succeed in their first business venture. Yet every day new entrepreneurs enter the market.
97% of all patent holders never make money with their patents. Yet approximately 30,000 new products are launched each year.
In full disclosure, I’ve tried every one of these things. And I’ve made a decent amount of money on every single one of them, except the lottery. I’ve made a living as an actor, business owner, and inventor. And none of it came without an enormous amount of blood, sweat, and tears. I put years of hard work into all of them, but they all paid off eventually.
People play the lottery because of the hope of easy money falling from the sky. I play it myself for that reason. Investing a few dollars every now and then for the chance of winning big isn’t much of a price to pay, even though you have better odds of being hit by lightening.
The reason people play the odds is because someone is going to win. And as long as one person has won, there’s always the chance that you could too. As long as one person makes millions of dollars as an actor or a rock star, it’s possible.
I’ve beaten the odds myself, but I also know others who have too. I know several people on the A list who have made a fortune in the entertainment industry. I know several inventors who make a good living with their products, and a few who have made millions. I know a lot of business owners who have made great money and have created multiple businesses. I even know one person who has won pretty big money in the lottery, not once, but twice. Not enough to retire, but enough to buy several brand new cars and take some nice vacations.
I play the odds because it’s a challenge. Someone is going to win. And I like the game of beating the odds.