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Lesko: Lottery "Practical"? Fat Chance.

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Jason: A dollar and a dream...most people consider the lottery a harmless way to spend a few bucks. But Greg Lesko of Lesko financial says those dollars add up. Greg...

Greg: Thanks Jason. Many Americans are treating the lottery as more than just inconsequential fun. Recent numbers show that playing the lottery is becoming a favorite national pasttime.

People spend over 70 billion dollars on lottery tickets each year. That's four times what they spend on sporting events, five times what's spent on video games and ten times what they spend on music. That's a lot of money for a very small hope of satisfaction.

Jason: Because the odds of winning are slim, at best.

Greg: They're overwhelmingly against you. Powerball claims its odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 175 million. Let's put that into perspective.
You're more likely to be struck by lightning--that's only a one in 2 million chance.

Or, according to business insider, you at least have a one in 785-thousand chance of becoming a billionaire. Or, how about a one in 12-thousand chance of finding a pearl while eating a plate of oysters? Lottery tickets are money down the drain.

Jason: But what harm is there in playing?

Greg: Economists call the lottery "a tax on the poor" because many lottery players are those who can least afford it. One study said more than a third of low income Americans believe winning the lottery is the most practical road to wealth.

The "most practical!" if they spent less than they earned and invested the savings instead, their odds of creating wealth are much, much greater than of ever winning the jackpot.