Three reasons why I hope I never win the lottery*

Photo: Heather Setka

Conversation is my favourite free past-time. Only one free activity is more thrilling than conversation, and I won’t say what it is because my mom reads this blog. (Hi Mom! Totally still a virgin! Swear! Love you! Bye!)

As a lover of the conversing arts, I am deeply offended by the following:

“If I ever won the lottery, I’d…”

Borrrrrrrrring. (Oops, did I use my outside voice there?)

I recognize this is a statement about dreams, and having no limits for one’s dreams. But how about, instead of discussing something that will never happen, we all agree to set achievable goals and reach real dreams by doing things that matter? Because, honestly, sitting on a beach and drinking Mojitos will get pretty lame after the first 63 days.

Plus, I’d argue a lottery win actually inhibits one’s dreams and aspirations and has the potential to f**k up your life. I’m certain it would screw up mine. Here’s why:

  1. I like earning money. It motivates me. I planned to write this blog for free, and was happy to do so. However, once someone offered to pay me for a weekly post, my dedication level skyrocketed. I’m not motivated so much by the money itself, but by the recognition that my work is worth something to someone. I do a lot of freelance work, and I relish the thrill of a freelance cheque in the mail. I feel like a big girl. A smart girl. A good girl. I would not feel this way if someone handed me an oversized novelty cheque at a big event, while people cheered and leered at me.
  2. My relationships are important to me. A lottery win would screw them up. Who do I give money to? My immediate family and bff? My extended family and my peripheral friends? Everybody I’ve ever laid eyes on or followed on Twitter? I have 25 first cousins. Even though we’re all spread out across Canada now (Edmonton to Toronto), I grew up playing kick-the-can with many of them on long, starlit Saskatchewan summer nights. I like all of them for very different reasons. I can’t imagine not tossing each one of them a couple grand should I come into millions. But where, or rather with whom, do you draw the line? It’s either no one or everyone, and neither scenario sounds great to me.
  3. I don’t need the money. The scariest time in my life was when I lived in my parents’ spare bedroom. With an my infant, no less. I had nothing: no car, no job, no childcare, no home and no clue as to how I could find any one of them without the other three. Terrified about the direction my life was headed, I wrote a journal entry about how all I wanted was a home of my own, a reliable vehicle, consistent nurturing childcare and a job that paid my bills. Within three short years, I had all of them, and – thanks to a series of miracles and the sweat of my brow – I’ve managed to keep them.

Who needs to win the lottery when I already have?

~ HS

*Well, first of all you have to play the lottery to win it. Since it’s not part of my spending plan, this isn’t a real worry in my life. A real worry I have is that someone I love will win the lottery. My dad buys tickets all the time, and I know he’d give me a huge chunk of change that I couldn’t turn down if he ever won. I’d have this problem without even buying the damn ticket. My dad hates when I say that I hope he never wins, and I know he truly believes I jinx him.  

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6 thoughts on “Three reasons why I hope I never win the lottery*

  1. Kathy says:

    Oh dearest HS, thanks for your words. I always tease my father-in-law that we should have a contest where he continues to buy his regular lottery tickets (~$20/week) and I’ll put the same in a mason jar each week. At the end of the year, we would compare who had more money. I’m fairly certain who would come out ahead.

    I chuckle at your comment that discussing potential lottery winnings is boring. I maybe buy three lottery tickets a year, usually for the jackpots that are over the top ridiculous in size. I think it costs $5 for the “quickpick” and I know I’ll never win, but discussing what I would do with the money if I did win, is my way of extracting the full utility (economist-lingo) out of that $5.

    P.S. I know I’m not a first cousin, but I’ve known you since you were 4, so if you win the lottery, don’t forget me. Ha!

  2. td setka says:

    Um, just saying, you would obviusly give me a quarter of your lottery winnings…right? I mean, I’m counting on you here…

    • cashgab says:

      If I played the lottery (which I won’t) and won (which I won’t), both of you would get a cut (oh crap, does that mean I just put it in writing?)

  3. Cleatus says:

    I never buy a ticket. If I change my mind some day and win, my plan is to keep only what I need to become debt-free and give away the rest. But not to family. I think I am like Warren Buffet on windfalls. More can be accomplished by putting money where it is needed most then watching it get spent on things that will eventually be sold for nickels and pennies at a garage sale.

  4. Morgan says:

    Love the articles Heather!!!! So well written and pretty much dead on with the facts! Keep them coming! And only slight correction, you do have one first cousin in Nova Scotia!!!

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