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A $656 Million Way Out: The Lottery Mentality


There’s a decent chance you bought a lottery ticket last week. Thanks to the largest jackpot in US history – an epic $656 million — the country was in lotto fever. My girlfriend, who normally wouldn’t as much as buy a scratch-off ticket, even got in on the hysteria. I, on the other hand, spent my money on more important things (like Muscle Milk and thrift store CD’s) and I’ll tell you why.

I don’t play the lotto. Never have, never will. 1) the odds are ridiculous and 2) I think winning would make me lazy.


$656 million dollars. That’d buy more than a few ’57 Chevy’s (my dream car.) It goes without saying that if I won I’d never have to work another day in my life and could spend my days lying on a hammock sipping down margaritas, living some sort of Jimmy Buffett-style existence minus the crappy Jimmy Buffett soundtrack. What reason would I have to really strive for anything? If I didn’t have to work for anything, why would I get out of bed in the morning other than to polish all of my Chevy’s and feed my exotic llamas?

The whole lotto mentality just bugs me. I think a lot of people want the easy way out, to not have to work for anything. Why bother pursuing a career and building up a body of work when you can just spend a buck at the convenience store and be done with it?

Laziness and entitlement do not a confident man make. If you’re not willing to put the work in and just expect things to get handed to you, you’re the furthest thing from a winner no matter how many millions you rake in. A take-charge attitude is the hallmark of a confident man. A man who knows what he wants and is willing to go through hell to get it (without exploiting and/or causing bodily harm to other people) is a man to be respected.

Okay, maybe I’m taking this whole lottery thing a little too seriously, but I’ve just heard so many people talk about how if they won the lottery they’d never work again and/or just to sit around and veg out indefinitely like Billy Madison. I personally like building toward and accomplishing things. It makes me feel like I’ve done more than eat, breathe and piss every day.

Whether or not you play the lotto, it’s important to put in work and do things for yourself. Do you really want to rely on others (in the case of the lottery, millions of random strangers) to function? Do you want to be the type of person to call up parents, friends, girlfriends, etc. every time you have a problem?

I suggest not walking through life with a lottery mentality. Not only will it make you look and feel like a chump, but, like the lotto, odds are you’ll end up short. Save your dignity (and your beer money) and take charge of your life. Be confident and earn your success and someday you just might be able to buy a 57’ Chevy with your own hard-earned money. Just don’t pursue writing full-time.



About John Brhel

John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.

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One Comment

  1. WannaWin

    June 13, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    I think you have the wrong perspective and opinion of other people. Winning the lottery surely would end your days of working a job you cant stand to pay the bills of things you barely use during your time off. However, it doesnt mean you would end at striving to accomplish things. If you like to paint, you would have all day to do that and become the best there is. If you like to play guitar, you would have all day to play until you are better than the most famous shredder. If you like to work out, now you can devote your whole being into building your body into a machine…etc.

    All winning the lottery would do is afford you time to do what it is you dream to do, instead of wasting it to make your boss his mortgage payment. Not everyone wants to use their time waxing their chevy or feeding the llamas. Some people have goals that extend beyond their cubicle 9 to 5 gig.

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