Over dinner with the in-laws we got chatting about national lottery tickets and my brother in law admitted he has a direct debit for over £50 a month for EuroMillions and the normal lottery draw. I was astounded, but neither he or my OH could see a problem at all - they are just holding out for a big win and expect it to happen one day. Neither of them are particularly good with money and "I'll just win the lottery" is my OH's standard answer response if we discuss holiday destinations or big ticket items for our home. I'll play a line or two every so often but £50/month could buy a lot of other things. Are they living in cloud cuckoo land or am I a scrooge?
Never bought a ticket or a scratch card, so for me £1 would be too much. It depends if they can afford it or not, if they choose to spent £50 on it, that's up to them. I added up all the recommended lotions and potions recommended in the Sunday supplement to keep the 300 signs of ageing at bay. That came to £286 without waxing and polishing and whatnot per month. Some have the money to spend.
I used to work selling lottery tickets and believe me £50 a month is small fry! One little old lady used to come in each week and spend more than that on all the draws and assorted scratchcards. Anything she won she would reinvest too, so some weeks she would spend closer to £100. I have no idea how she afforded it.
There was a story in the news a couple of years ago, where a post office clerk was ringing up customers goods as scratch cards, pocketing them, and the stationery, envelopes ,cards etc went unpaid for. She had had stolen about £12,000 worth over 2/3 years. In all that time she had won £450... I would never buy a scratch card, and they are apparently better odds than the main draws.
Convince them to put it into premium bonds instead.
a.) they can win a million pounds, which is still a life-changing amount. b.) you are guaranteed to get the "ticket" price back, whenever you want it. So you can't lose money: it costs nothing to play. c.) each "ticket" can get used over and over, for the rest of your life if you like. d.) if contributing £50 a month, your odds of winning will be going up after every contribution, because you have more perpetual "tickets", whereas with the lottery they don't change.
Are they living in cloud cuckoo land or am I a scrooge?
They are idiots and you are sensible.
I used to buy one ticket on a rollover, as I think (though I'm not sure) that then the expected return is more than you put in, whereas usually it is a loss. However, taking into account the value of my time, the two minutes it takes to buy a ticket online, I've decided it's no longer worth it. (If they offered me an option to automatically buy one ticket on every rollover, I might reconsider.)
We spend £10 on Wednesday and £10 on Saturday. Have had several lines since 1994 so hard to stop! We spend less a month on lotto than some people we know spend on a night out, people have different priorities.
It's basically a calculator that tells you what you would have "won" (lost, of course) if you'd put down a quid a week on the numbers you choose since the start. I've no idea how recent it goes up to but it gives you a pretty good idea..
I know statistics, I understand them like many people do, but there's still that irrational thought at the back of your head you'll beat them. So I used to put a quid a week on it for about six months a few years back, then when they put it up to two quid, I saw a calculator like this one and after a play it brought it home to me in the way a dry "1 in 14 million" never could, and the direct debit was cancelled.
Basically this is how the lottery rakes in the cash , it plays on peoples total lack of understanding of odds and probability. I say this as someone who plays the lottery, though nowhere near £50.00 per month,