13 January 2016

Did you Play your Numbers?

Somebody's got to win. Might as well be me.
I don't know about you, but I am a guy who casually plays the lottery. I have no system, just Quick Picks. I am not completely lost if I forget to play my ticket or don't win. I just like to drop a couple of bucks a shot on a piece of paper that represents a dream of freedom.
Our neighbours to the south are in the middle of a billion dollar frenzy with their Powerball lottery hitting the 1.5 billion dollar mark and climbing. That is a lot of coin, even after the tax man takes his cut you're still getting north of 900 million dollars. That is some serious F-you money.
I know the odds against winning are so ridiculous it makes playing a waste of cash and I hate to use my hard earned dollars on anything but stuff that makes my life better. But for us, the jackpots aren't a real goal or an achievable dream. Instead they represent what our true ambitions are made of. It is the notion that we could have more than enough money to do what we want, when we want  and without having to slug it out 40 plus hours a week to get it. Who doesn't want something for nothing? Luckily, we both know that life doesn't work that way and bust our asses every day to try and achieve some financial freedom when we retire. RRSPs, pensions and just plain old saving is the only way this Polkaroo is going to be able to put down his deep fryer basket and enjoy his golden years. It is not sexy, but it is the only way to go.
Still, the dream persists. Sometimes when the Lotto Max jackpot hits a ridiculous 50 million, we will linger after dinner and talk dreamily about all the things we could do and the people we would help if our numbers came up.
We could do this every day.
I don't think it does any harm to talk about travelling all over the world (imagine the beer), or paying off all of our families mortgages and making sure they never had to want for anything in their lives again. It is good to look around and dream of bigger and better things. Wishing for that and doing something about it are two very different things however. So while it is all well and good to buy that lottery ticket, it is quite destructive to spend gobs of cash trying to win something that is just this side of impossible. We spend about $14 a week and that is about all I am comfortable with. It's not a huge sum out of our budget and it's a fair price to pay for some daydreaming. We continue to be aggressive with our saving and are very conscious of where every dollar goes because we want to be able to enjoy our lives. When the bills are paid and you've got some cash in the bank, that is really what winning is to me.
There is no way for guys like me to jump the queue on life. I didn't go to college or university and that has made me work a little harder to make up for the poor decisions of my youth. I am just now getting my head up above the clouds and looking around, its pretty nice up here. I put in my hours at work and endeavour everyday to not only earn my pay, but make sure I feel good about doing it. It's not my dream job, but it pays the bills, allows me time off to pursue the Perfect Beer and gives me a sense of purpose. That is what work is for me, a means to an end. If you are lucky enough to do something you love, consider yourself ahead in the game of life. If not, at least give it your best while you're there and keep reaching for something better.
Playing the lottery or grabbing the occasional Scratch ticket are not a waste if you can do so with the full knowledge that it's more of a dream than a reality. Doing this allows you to enjoy the thoughts of financial freedom while still realising that the alarm clock is going to go off in the morning and work awaits. You rarely get something for nothing and when you earn it, the results are so much sweeter.
Still, what I could do with $1.5 billion.......

I got nothing.