What your lotto purchase says about you…

1 Apr

Last week’s record-setting MegaMillions jackpot dominated my Facebook feed for a few days. Photos of lotto tickets (cleverly posted by radio stations offering share the winnings with anyone who “liked” their photo) circulated wildly. Friends were speculating what they would do with their newly-won wealth.

I found it fascinating to see how much money people were spending on tickets. Alan cited a quote that was circulating to explain the multiple tickets people were snapping up: “You’re nine times as likely to get hit by lightning as win the lottery. Better buy nine tickets to improve those odds.”

I speculated that the MegaMillions could be used as a fairly accurate diagnostic for a workplace morale, though when I started to create the scale of interpretation, I realized it sounded more like a Lotto Horoscope:

  • Didn’t buy a ticket? You’re either a scientist, mathematician, or so over-worked you couldn’t get to the liquor store.
  • Didn’t buy a ticket but “liked” more than ten photos of Lotto tickets online that offered to share winnings with you? You’re probably unemployed or lazy or a sucker. Might want to spend less time of Facebook and more time reading self-help books.
  • Bought one ticket? You enjoy your job and co-workers and like to contribute to water-cooler talk.
  • Bought 20 tickets? Might want to pull out your resume and give it a little TLC. Sounds like you’ll be on the hunt for a new opportunity later this year.
  • Bought 50 tickets? Do everyone a favor and resign already.
  • Bought 100 tickets? Resign, sell your worldly possessions and travel the world to find yourself. You’re clearly not on the right path. You might want to consider a change of religion or marital status while you’re at it.

And employers – think it’s cute that your employees organized a Lotto Pool? I’d say it’s innocent fun – unless each person is willing to kick in more than the entry fee for a March Madness bracket. In that case, your company morale is in the toilet and you’ll need to do more than $50 spot bonuses to prevent a complete exodus before year’s end.

Oh. And while I’m on the topic of workplace lotteries, I encourage you to listen to THIS, a brief story from This American Life about the troop of Riverdance and what it means to them to win the lotto. I haven’t been able to watch a theatrical performance the same way since it aired five years ago. Now, neither will you.

Which is almost as awesome as actually winning. You’re welcome.


8 Responses to “What your lotto purchase says about you…”

  1. bonnie April 1, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Heard a news report about some guy who had just told a friend he wasn’t going to buy any tickets because the odds of winning were less than getting hit by lightning, then walked into his back yard and actually got hit by lightning. Not too seriously, apparently, because when he recovered, he then went out and bought a slew of lottery tickets — and won nothing.

    • pithypants April 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

      That’s awesome! I think he should’ve just bought one ticket though… He messed up his odds by buying multiple. You have to TEMPT fate, not beat her over the head with a two-by-four!

  2. tracy sinclair (@tracy_sinclair) April 1, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    This made me laugh….I had planned to buy some tickets, but never made it to the store…

    “Didn’t buy a ticket? You’re either a scientist, mathematician, or so over-worked you couldn’t get to the liquor store.”

    • pithypants April 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

      Thanks for validating my theory. That’s two ticks in that column, self-included!

  3. Kelly Thompson April 1, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    I’m actually the Director of Advertising and Public Relations for one of the lotteries involved in Mega Millions. It was crazy how fast tickets were flying through those terminals in the last few hours Friday night. So glad that draw is over; I’ll probably be out of the business by the time it reaches that level again…or have been struck by lightning.

  4. thesinglecell April 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    I didn’t buy one, but that’s more because I’m one of those really annoying people who thinks the lottery preys on poor people, and I’m pretty poor these days and therefore resent the manipulation. I did briefly panic because I thought I might know one of the winners. And I smirked because I just know my former boyfriend spent at least $20 and lost. Hehehe. That’s what he gets for complaining about hot water consumption. Oh, and my entire office got in on it – on my day off, of course – INCLUDING my boss. He wants off the ship, too. Apparently.

  5. wendymc12 April 2, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    Fun post. Loved it!!!

  6. Barbara April 2, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    Came on here to say something similar to Bonnie. There’s a guy in Kansas who bought a couple of tickets, then was struck by lighting later that evening. Didn’t win anything though.

    As I read this, I’m watching a segment about Riverdancing on Sesame street. Winning the lottery wouldn’t change what I have to watch in the morning with the kid.

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