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Student Loans and Empty Promises: Why I Don't Want to Win the Lottery

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With words like billion, dollars, jackpot and Mega Millions being thrown around lately, it is so easy to salivate at the thought of all financial problems disappearing and all things material flourishing in front of your very eyes with one lucky, winning ticket. Anyone who has purchased a ticket has likely finished the sentence if I won I would… Even if only in the privacy of their own thoughts. And yes, I am among said group of people. When I envision (or attempt to manifest) winning, I take delight in imagining a life without financial worry: a home and car that are fully purchased, vacations to places I can only dream of going on my current salary, and lots and lots of things. Great, sparkly, convenient and luxury things. As the scenario plays out in my head, I also believe that having a bank account balance that has 9 zeros would make my life oh so much better and my imaginary life after I win the lotto is fantastic!

I have been here before, though. I have imagined winning, attempted to manifest it, practiced the law of attraction and like every other time I have ever gambled, I wake up a total loser. For a minute, yes, I actually do feel disappointed. As any true gambler knows, you always think you could actually be THE BIG WINNER! I dust myself off, put on my heels, and track myself back to the office for another day of 9-5 as the lottery loser that I am.

But, what if those of us who lose, are actually the winners? A quick google or youtube search will provide you with hundreds of heartbreaking stories of how winning the lottery has destroyed people’s lives, relationships, and yes, even finances. Here are a few reasons why I don’t want to win the lottery.

I Won’t Know What to do First
Waking up with a billion dollars sounds so amazing. But, really, what would I do first? Quit my job? Or would I go to work and pretend I didn’t win so my greedy co-workers don’t start sweet-talking me for a little extra dough before I even secure a financial advisor. And really? Who would I trust to be my financial advisor? Where do I even find a good one, the yellow pages? Google? My brother-in-law? What kind of breakfast would I eat on my first morning as a billionaire? Can I seriously sit in my Walmart bathrobe and eat Cheerios and milk like every other morning or would I rent a limo and go out to a gourmet breakfast with all of my closest, non-greedy, most trustworthy friends and family? It is all so much to take in, I imagine I would stay in bed overwhelmed by the financial shock and awe.

Working is Good For Me
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all want to quit our jobs and stay home. Oh, I swear if I didn’t have to work, I would go to the gym, my house would be so clean and I would volunteer a few hours a day. No, the truth is, I wouldn’t. It is SO hard to motivate myself to do something that doesn’t HAVE to be done. I would stay home, sleep a lot, binge-watch, maybe go to the gym but only if I went on a ridiculous shopping spree to get new gym clothes, and I would hire people to clean up my mess. That sounds so spoiled, doesn’t it? And it is. I don’t want to be that person. But I know me and I know that’s what would happen if I suddenly had a billion buckaroos. Working keeps me humble. Cleaning my own mess keeps me humble. Doing things I don’t want to do but have to do anyway teaches me important things like discipline, self-respect, and responsibility.

I Just May Spend All of the Money
I wonder how long a billion dollars would last me. I don’t even have a guess, really. But, I can guarantee it would last me a much shorter amount of time than a lot of other people. First of all, I owe everyone and their brother large amounts of money: creditors, collection agencies, Sally Mae Student Loans, my mother, my sister, my ex-husband, hell, even my own children! Sure, I would love to pay them all back in one lump sum payment, but that might equal my entire lottery winnings! If I did happen to have some money left, I would do something reckless, like go to the casino and gamble with the high rollers and put it all (yes, I might actually do that) on black. Of Course, the ball would land on red.

I Have Promises to Keep
I have promised my kids SO MANY things under the premise of when I win the lottery. I sure don’t remember all of the things I promised them, but I will tell you who does remember- THEM! It would be a nightmare and I would suddenly have a dog, a cat, three waterbeds, a trampoline, an inground pool with a waterslide, a zipline going from one side of the house to the other, a movie theater in my house, which would also have slides instead of stairs. No thanks, I think I will stick with my measly $50,000 salary.

But perhaps I am just trying to convince myself that losing the lottery is the best outcome so that I don’t have the morning-after blues like I usually do when I don’t win. I do have my ticket, with my lucky numbers in my lucky wallet, and I can tell you one thing, if I win, I am 100% keeping the money. But money is just paper. Really, it is. Powerful paper that can get me lots of things and make my life easier in some ways, too. But, it isn’t important in the way relationships are. Money can’t improve those, and it can’t make me grow. So, should I wake up a loser like every other time I have ever purchased a lotto ticket, well, then, that is just fine. I will keep building character and debt as I embrace what is truly important in life- relationships with the ones I love and the lessons of adversity.

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