I know what you’re thinking.


What kind of financial advisor thinks buying a lottery ticket is a good investment?


After all, lotteries are referred to as a tax on people who are bad at math.


Statements like, “You are 11 times more likely to be struck by lightning than you are winning the jackpot on any state-sponsored lottery” further the sentiment that playing the lottery is foolish.


But it’s also been said that you can’t win if you don’t play!


Or my favorite quote from Ben Franklin “A lottery is the fairest form of taxation because each person gets to decide whether to participate or not.”


Hear me out.


I’m not trying to debate the pros and cons of state-sponsored lotteries, and I don’t think you should spend more than a couple of bucks.


The real reason I suggest buying 1 or 2 tickets when the jackpot reaches a significant amount has nothing to do with your odds. It is because it’s a great way to prompt thinking on what you would do with the money if you won.


In my opinion, time spent evaluating your spending priorities is a great investment!


Consider the importance of questions like:


  • Would you claim the prize anonymously, or have your name released to the public?


  • Would winning change where you live, who your friends are, and what you do every day?


  • Should you take a lump-sum payout or equal payments over 20 years? What are the tax implications?


  • How much prize money would you invest? How would you decide what a good investment looks like?


  • Would you give a portion to charity? Which charity? How much? How do you know where your money is going?


  • What would you buy for yourself? For friends and family? Are these purchases essential, or just nice to have?


  • Who would you tell about your new-found fortune? From whom would you hide it? Why?


  • Would you consider giving money to someone who may not use it responsibly? Is it fair to set expectations?


The possibility of winning enables you to dream big. When you don’t win, you can consider how to make your dreams happen with existing resources.


However, if you do win, give me a call, and I’ll share my essential financial considerations for lottery winners.


Good luck!




The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial. These views should not be relied on as investment advice, or a recommendation to apply the strategy offered. Neither LPL Financial nor the author can be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss incurred by applying any of the information offered.