Three Ways to Play with Money for Prizes that Aren’t the Lottery


January 9, 2016, was a pretty historic day for America. The largest grand prize in Lottery history—$1.5 billion dollars—was divided between three winners. Of course, millions of others were somewhat disappointed with the results.   If you played for this historic lottery jackpot, your imagination probably went wild with the possibilities of how life would be soooo much better. Win or lose, everyone who bought a ticket gained….gained a moment to dream of what could be! Regardless of “Experts” reminding us how slim the odds of winning, you got to dream without boundaries. Dreaming is not only fun, it’s important. There is no point to life if we are not dreaming for something better. Humans are just built that way. That’s a good thing! Here’s a great tweet from two days before the final Powerball drawing that sums up this sentiment pretty well:     The day after the drawing we all resumed our lives as they are. Here’s the $1.5 Billion Question…did you write down even one of those dreams? No. Why not? What if instead of reducing your dreams to chance you actually decided to take charge! What if you simply decided “there is no better time than now to start towards the life you dreamt of”. Here’s how to get started today:

Three types of Savings

1)    What just happened savings. This is money for emergencies in a savings account.

2)    What do I really want savings. This is money to get what you really desire.

3)    What the hell money. This is lotto ticket (or whatever) money.  

1 & 3 aside, let’s focus on how you might realize your dreams (2)…


Three Ways to Play with Money for Prizes that Arent the Lottery

First Way: Mutual Fund Saving money in a mutual fund might not be as sexy as the lottery, but the thrill of watching the price of your lottery ticket multiply is still there, it just takes longer. Even if it seems like it’s “just two dollars,”Powerball tickets add up just like everything else, and if you buy one a day, you’re spending about $50 a month. According to a great article from Money Under 30, here’s what will happen if you put $50 a month into a mutual fund: Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 5.38.02 PM


A $68,000 jackpot doesn’t sound too bad, right?

Second Way: PLS Accounts Are mutual funds not enough of a gamble? Try opening a PLS account, which is just like a normal bank account except that the interest accumulated by all accounts is pooled and randomly awarded to one of the account holders. So, even though you’re in the running for that mouth-watering pot of gold, you’re also saving money for your future. Double fun!

Third Way: The Stock Market First, read this heartbreaking story of a man near retirement age who sank his entire retirement fund of $450,000 into Powerball tickets (without telling his wife). Needless to say, he didn’t win, even though he was able to buy 225,000 tickets. But with the odds at 1 in 292 million for the January 7 drawing, his odds were reduced to 1 in 1,298, which is another way of saying he had a 00.1298 percent chance of winning. If you’re committed to throwing your money away on a wild dream, maybe you should try the stock market. According to Market Watch, there’s a 66.1 percent chance the market will rise in 2016. Even if you’re buying stock by throwing a dart at a copy of the Wall Street Journal, your odds are a hell of a lot better of making money. And, even if the stock’s value drops you still own the shares purchased. Eventually it will rebound unlike the possibility of resurrecting that losing lotto ticket.


At the end of the day DREAM! Plan methodically but, Dream fearlessly! Let us help. For financial advice, turn to Earn It Use It–we’re here to help you make your dreams come true. list-800759_1280

E. Scott Erickson’s vision is to empower Americans through financial education. For the last 30 years, he has been a successful financial advisor and avid public speaker in the Pacific Northwest.

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