Today’s big feel-good news story brings us Charles W. Jackson Jr, a North Carolina man who won the $344 million Powerball jackpot with numbers provided by a fortune cookie.
And with that, I bring this public service announcement:
Stop. Do not get suckered in. Do not let this story make you feel good.
The biggest sucker bet of all sucker bets will soon climb back into astronomical territory and as far as I’m concerned, one fact cannot be repeated enough: by not playing Powerball, you have only have a slightly smaller chance at winning than someone who dropped $200 for a pile of tickets.
Here are four great reasons to avoid any of the all-too-frequent bouts with Powerball mania.
1. You’re a principled person. You recognize that government has no business in the gambling game. You understand it’s abhorrent for government to raise money on the hopes, dreams and desperation of people who are often economically challenged.
Principled reasons are no damned fun, so let’s move onto reason two:
2. You’re absolutely not going to win. Let’s put those odds into perspective. It’s one in more than 292 million.
Lambeau Field holds 81,441 people. If the Packers gave one lottery ticket to every spectator for each regular season game, one winner would emerge over the course of 448 seasons.
But you’re saying there’s still a chance?
Not to be grim about things, but you’re more than 33,000 times more likely to die in a car crash in a given year than hold the ginormous Powerball check.
Lotto players would tell me to lighten up, because, after all, two bucks is a small price for a fun few days of dreaming. That brings us to number three:
3. There are a lot of way more enjoyable ways to spend two bucks.
I stopped by Walgreens today, which had two dark chocolate Kit Kats for a dollar. If eaten responsibly, that’s four days of deliciousness for the same price as a slip of paper. For $2, you could go into any Dollar Tree and purchase any two items you’d like. Imagine the possibilities!
Those still hypnotized by the incomprehensible dollar figures may want to think about the experience of others.
4. If by some miracle you buck the as-close-to-zero-as-possible odds, it very well could be the worst thing that ever happened to you.
The Internet is full of stories of those who found nothing but misery in their newfound millions.
The moral of the story is this: it’s perfectly OK to feel content in our meager and mediocre lives.
Or it’s stay away from the roads.
Actually, it’s “go eat a Kit Kat bar.”