Image by donowhit via FlickrI think just about everybody dreams of hitting it big in some way, shape, or form. Most people work hard in their chosen field in the hope of earning enough money to live a comfortable life, acquire a few toys, and to eventually retire. Obviously, some people are much more proficient at this than others.
Probably the easiest way to hit it big, and also the least likely, is to win the lottery. I have to confess, that I do daydream about hitting a big lottery jackpot. I do not buy lottery tickets very often, and when I do, it usually is only $5 at a time. I would never bet more than I could afford to lose. It always amazes me when I am waiting to get my ticket to see somebody spending several times more than the $5 I wager on the various lottery games available.
Whenever I buy that ticket, I think about what I could do with that money if I was fortunate enough to win. I always dream about buying a nicer home for our family. Our little two bedroom townhouse is OK, but we could use a little more room. I would probably splurge a little on new cars and some new technology. The other thing that I would want to do is to talk with a financial adviser to use that money to generate a stream of income to live on. I would also want to do some charitable work, particularly in the field of autism.
Still, winning the lottery, no matter how large a jackpot is no guarantee of success or happiness. You hear news stories of people who won the big jackpot and a few short years later they had frittered it all away and were on the verge of bankruptcy. I honestly believe that if you aren't already happy with yourself or are well grounded, then winning the lottery isn't going to change any of that.
There was a woman in my office several years ago who won the lottery. I think it was probably around $1 million dollars spread over 20 years. It wasn't enough for her to retire on, but she was close enough to retirement that it would help immensely, at least enough to retire comfortably. She had a rather sour disposition prior to winning the lottery, and it didn't change after she won.
Here in Maryland, we only had the Megamillions game for the longest time. About a year or so ago, Maryland added the Powerball game as well giving us four days to try to strike it rich. Every now and then, I will pick up a ticket for one of the games, like tonight's Powerball game which has an estimated jackpot of $173 million. If I win something great, but I am not counting on it for my retirement plans. If you play the lottery, please do so within your means.