Is playing the Lottery a Type of Investment?

Lots of investment schemes allow you to pay in a small amount of money, even just a couple of dollars every week, in the hope that one day this will grow into a large pot. Does that sound familiar? In some ways, it’s just like playing the lottery – a similarity which may well make you wonder if funneling your cash into the magic weekly draw might well be a decent investment decision after all. Here, we’ll take a look at how playing the lottery compares to other major forms of investment.

Stock Market

Investing your money in the stock market is one potential method to consider if you’re hoping to build returns over time. Many people who make the decision to invest and build a diverse portfolio covering lots of different stock interests do find themselves earning something back as time marches on, although as with the lottery, it’s not guaranteed.

However, while there’s a possibility that the stock market can provide returns over time, there’s one way in which playing the lottery is almost always going to beat the markets. That lies in the size of the prize money for larger jackpots! When it comes to playing the lottery, the amount that you’ll win if you win big will pretty much always trump anything you’d get from investing in the stock market – so if you’re happy to forego relatively small dividends over time on the off chance that you’ll cash in a million dollars, then the lottery is definitely for you.

Forex Trading

One type of alternative investing which is growing in popularity these days is trading foreign exchange (Forex) currencies. By betting on how prices between two different international currencies (such as the US dollar and the Canadian dollar, for example) are going to change, you can in theory profit from the difference if you predict correctly.

While the word “trading” might give this form of investment more of a reputable veneer, it’s not necessarily the case that you’re likely to win. In fact, despite being known as an alternative investment, it’s suggested by some that the systems used are deliberately stacked against you. While the odds of winning the lottery are also relatively low, they’re also fair: anyone’s numbers can come up, and they’re generated at random. With Forex trading an element of expertise is essential and you can lose a lot of money very quickly if things go against you – which makes the lottery suddenly seem a whole lot more appealing.

Buying a Property

Those who disapprove of the lottery might say: “Oh, you could have bought a condo by now if you’d saved up all that money you spend on tickets every week!” And while that might be true, saving and sacrificing to buy a condo wouldn’t necessarily have been the smartest move. Despite property having a reputation for being a “safe bet” when it comes to investment decision making, it’s not always the case.

Real estate prices in Manhattan, for example, have dropped recently to their worst quarter in more than five years – so there’s no certainty that investing in bricks and mortar will reap rewards. As this example shows, the odds of success when investing in property aren’t exactly guaranteed – so you might as well invest in the lottery instead! But whatever path you choose, if you find yourself wondering “what are the odds of winning the lottery” then it’s worth taking some tips on how best to maximize your chances – just as you would for property.

Playing the lottery is fun and enjoyable, and it gives you a chance to daydream about what it would be like if you didn’t have to commute to work in traffic every day or put up with a job you dislike. And while many people might laugh at the idea of calling it an investment, it’s clear that there’s some truth to the idea. Very few investments are 100% risk free, and the lottery is just another example of where money can possibly make you rich without it being guaranteed.

In fact, when the lottery makes you rich it pulls out all of the stops. Unlike some forms of investment, which take your money and then pay back paltry returns over a period of years, the lottery can give you a huge windfall at any moment – which as an amateur could change your life more than any property investment or well-executed stock market trade would!


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