For those of you who watched the Million Dollar Neighbourhood on the OWN network, which starred our friend Preet Banerjee, you missed an interesting bit of media spectacle. The show itself was pretty straightforward, and while Preet seemed quite stern with some of the families, my opinion is that he held back a fair amount (he certainly is blunter in the conversations I have had with him (don’t get me wrong, I enjoy his honesty, and wished he was more straightforward on the show)).
On the first show of the series, Preet had a great line that I am sure he wrote himself, which resonates with me very nicely. He talked with a couple where the husband is disabled and living on a fixed disability cheque, and the couple is having a hard time. In response to this hardship, the husband felt his only recourse was to buy lottery tickets (i.e. swinging for the financial fences).
Preet’s response was classic, and hopefully, I have captured it accurately here, “If I could give you a lottery that has a guaranteed payout of $2500 a year, would you take it?”. The husband responded that he would, and Preet’s response was classic:
“STOP BUYING LOTTERY TICKETS, and you’ll have $2500 a year.”
I have ranted about Lottery Tickets and Casinos as a means of retiring early before, hence why I like the comment. Even living in Ottawa, I am more likely to be bitten by a shark than win on the Lottery. However, remember The Shark Bite Story premise is what the Lotteries (aka the Government) is banking on you buying into, so you buy more lottery tickets.
Can’t I Make Money?
The Super Bowl is (I think I have heard) the most bet on an event in the world (which is a sad statement). Betting in general on sporting events is no better than Lottery Tickets (no matter how good a prognosticator you fancy yourself). As a basketball coach, I have learned, sh*t happens, and sometimes any team can win. That is why the game is played.
Oh, and the first person who says, at least the money from the lotteries goes back into the community gets a swift kick in the butt!
These lotteries are giving people false hopes. They are such a headache especially to those who cannot resist but constantly bet.
I don’t mind playing the lottery every now and then. Or playing the odd hand of blackjack when I’m in Las Vegas. But to put it in perspective, the last time I was in Vegas, I played for about an hour out of four days and spent $20.
I don’t care much what anyone does with their money if they are running a surplus, and they have their eyes open.
But a lottery is not a financial plan! 🙂
Well stated! I on occasion will buy a lottery ticket, but having worked for the company that prints the lottery tickets, I can assure you your chances of winning are really that infinitesimal (much like what I learned about cigarettes when I worked at Imperial Tobacco (i.e. DON’T SMOKE))
Same can be said for having more time to do constructive things if you throw away your TV.
That’s a pretty obtuse view of the argument, but I guess valid.
Where do I send the cheque big guy? 🙂
All the commenters get a big cheque too. =)
So far the best compliment I’ve received is that someone overheard someone else mentioning they watched the show, and particularly the crash test episode, and it inspired them to get their wills, powers of attorney and life insurance. I’m happy it’s motivating people into action.
You can deliver the cheque in person if you wish! 😀 As for the commenting folk, I did warn them your ego might get inflated, but they did continue. Knowing you helped is a big reason for doing this stuff.
That was a good episode. Preet is one talented guy.
As for the lotteries, playing a bit is fine if you can afford it. A few bucks every week is not much to spend. Most people spend more on coffee in a day or lunch than that. Spending $10 or more per week on lotteries is wasteful.
Paying $2,500 per year when you can’t afford it….geez….crazy….
@ Jane My mother used to play at work (before she retired 20 years ago), and shared the same fear. After she retired, she only plays a few times a year in the big prize draws. She still looks at the numbers every week, and can remember the 3 sets of numbers they used to play. Guess what, those numbers still have not come up.
I am enjoying MDN as well, not sure if I would watch without Preet being on though. I , too, attended something he ran and was won over to him in a short time.
Agreed, although all these nice comments will cause Preet to become more popular and thus much harder to get a hold of…
OK, I’m bracing myself for the swift kick :). Wouldn’t the alternative to government lotteries be higher taxes? That would be fine if I could choose not to pay the higher taxes. But I can already choose not to play the lotteries.
Most lottery players enjoy, can afford and handle the entertainment value of lotteries. I guess the main knock against lotteries is the temptation for unfortunate people who are vulnerable to them. It is hard to quantify the net cost to society of these people due to lotteries as they will find other trouble to get into if not for lotteries- and much of that other trouble doesn’t raise government revenues to help support them.
I don’t know, but how much of the actual lottery money ends back up in the public coffers? I’ll gladly eat my words if it is a large number say greater than 50%, but I doubt it.
Yea, I’m guilty of a few office pools here and there but I use to be terrible with scratch off games like Bingo. There were a few times I won $20 or $50 but I would usually “reinvest” my winnings into more scratch offs so it never quite worked out for me. Kicking that terrible habit definitely netted me a small fortune 😉
We had Shaw satellite installed on Friday, so we got to watch Preet’s show over the weekend. Preet is definitely a must-watch. He’s got that rare blend of super-smart and personable. He *knows* his stuff down cold, yet knows how to make it understandable. I saw him speak last year in front of a room full of life insurance advisors and it was the first time in years that I’ve been at one of those things were I learned new things (rather than sleeping through it).
With respect to your comments on lottery tickets, there’s an even bigger absurdity backed by the gov’t – casinos.
He’ll be happy to hear it, however, let’s not be too nice, you don’t want him to get a MASSIVE head!
Guilty as charged. I spend almost $90.00 per year to particitpate in the work lottery pool but I am afraid of being left out of a win.
I also don’t want to be stuck at work training a whole bunch of new people when everyone else wins and never comes back to work.
I suppose that’s a good reason, however, I worked with a group that won Super Lotto (that’s how long ago it was) and they all kept working (and most blew most of the money too).