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Be Your Own Lottery

This afternoon I interjected myself into a conversation. The guys were talking about one of my favorite subjects … The Lottery.

I live out here in Nebraska. A couple of years ago, the capital city of Lincoln was making headline news left, right, and center. A small group of meat packing plant workers pooled a few bucks each, and bought a stack of Lottery tickets from the gas station across the street from their work place. Lo, and behold, one of those tickets was the lucky winner.  The participants split equally the largest pot in the history of the Lottery.

Big news! After all was said, and done, and taxes and fees were paid, and all were interviewed on national TV, each participant walked away with somewhere between nine and eleven million dollars. Not too shabby.

The subject of the conversation I’d barged myself into was the fate of one of those participants.  Sad.  It seems that one of them, less than four years later, is right back where he started … and not because he thinks working in a meat packing plant is an interesting hobby.

From what I understand, statistically this scenario is the norm. Most Lottery winners are back to where they started within five years.

I don’t know the exact statistics, but, apparently, one stands a better chance of getting struck by lightening twice in the same day than winning the lottery. I’m going to ask a question that I’d like for you to contemplate … how many times have you seen someone in a Rolls Royce driving up to a gas station, and witness the owner of that vehicle going inside to buy Lottery tickets? Probably rare, if ever.

For just about every four hundred and eighty tax paying citizens in the United States there is one millionaire. Most of these are self made. One stands a better chance of becoming independently wealthy by spending that Lottery ticket dollar on a dust mop, and knocking on doors to find people wanting their houses cleaned.

I’m not saying don’t play the Lottery. I personally buy about one ticket a month … it’s not not fun, and they say the revenue generated goes into the schools system. I also put a dollar or two in the bell ringers buckets around Christmas. I expect neither to bring me my fortune, and neither will.

Here’s a concept. What if one became their own Lottery. What if they invested in themselves. Pick a subject, go buy a book, read 20 pages a day, every day. In one year you will have read around 30 books on that subject. In the statistically normal amount of time it takes to go from big pot lottery winner to broke again … five years … you will be among the the top five percentile of experts on the subject you selected … and, what could you do with that? Most of the gurus I’ve listened to suggest ten pages per day, which puts one in the top five percentile in ten years … little things, easy to do, done consistently, over time, bring huge rewards.

Till next time, take advantage of that Library Grant, go buy a good book, and read it, and remember, you are a spectacular person.