A Better Lottery

The current pot for Lotto 749 in Canada is $40M.  Earlier this week, The Wiz and I were discussing how to make lotteries better - and the overwhelming agreement was that the jackpot was too big. If the OLG (Ontario Lottery and Gaming) split the pot once it reached a certain size, it would allow for multiple winners… and really - no one needs $40M - EVER.

The folks who win huge lotteries are ill-prepared to handle that sort of bounty - 70% of US lottery winners wind up broke. 

I know it’d cause me some heartburn.

If the pot split when it hit $20M, then there would be 2 x $10M jackpots. And then those pots would split again when they reached $20M each….. If people had more than 1 chance to win - imagine how many MORE people would participate? Pots would double and split all over the place. :-) People would win manageable amounts of money, and would be just as happy, if not happier. They might not end up penniless.

Winning the lottery isn’t all its cracked up to be - check out Catherine Annau’s film, Winning, which manages to follow up on past lottery winners, and the dismal ways their lives have ended up. People apparently need to be protected from themselves…

If you were the winner of a $10M jackpot, and ONLY invested it at a modest interest rate of 4%, you would have an annual income of $400,000. Say you bought the house of your dreams ($1M) and 2 new fancy cars ($150K), and gave away some of your booty to friends and family ($2M), you’d have very little in the way of living expenses or debt, and could still invest the remaining $6,850,000 at 4% and have an income of $274,000 — and you’d have very little expenses. I could MORE than kive happily on $274,000 a year. Wouldn’t need a job - but would probably have some sort of fun part-time gig, and you’d have al the time in the world to explore, travel and relax….

I’m curious to know what happens to the lives of the lottery winners. Someone should have written a book. $40M could totally screw up a person :-)