LOTTO: The Perfectly Rational Path to Millions


Ella Steinbeck, eyes
She’s dark, she’s dangerous, she’s RCT humor columnist Ella Steinbeck

I have decided that being a millionaire is my next chosen career path. How you ask? By pursuing lottery winning!

I am a little anxious about it. What if the day I was supposed to win the lottery was a day I didn’t play? Or maybe my lotto Karma is in Georgia and I am here in NYC? Buying a lotto ticket is a lot like a degree in literature; you know you have the skills to read but that doesn’t make your degree valuable. I have the skills to pick numbers, but that alone does not make my ticket worth anything.

The Lotto is my new plan A. Writing and comedy are now plan B. That’s right, I am putting my money where my Power Balls are! I didn’t finish my degree in college. I had majored in social psychology and was thinking about going back to school until I compared it with playing the lottery. I realized that in many cases a degree is something you pay a couple hundred thousand dollars for and stick on your wall to show your friends and to impress your parents’ friends. That’s a lot of dough and there is no guarantee you will even get a job. A lottery ticket? I spend $1 and have the chance of winning millions! I like those odds much better.

I only play if the pot is $90 million or more. I mean, lets face it, after taxes you only get half and I don’t want to waste my lotto luck on a measly $10 or 20 million.

I told my husband, “I am playing the lotto. It’s the least I can do for our family.” He said, “You are right. It is.” We will see how cynical he is when I win!

Just like a degree, I too am paying money for a piece of paper that has potential but no guarantees. The biggest difference is that the paper I buy only costs a dollar and leaves me much more free time than pursuing a degree in physics, law, or sociology would. My friends act so superior about their education and their degrees. But I just remind them – I too can frame a piece of paper that shows I had a chance to do something with my life.

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