It has been a while since my last post. My delay is mostly due to my 9-5 job and travel schedule. While I was flying I was thinking of some additional ways to keep Upwards of Twenty moving forward. My work has provided us with IPads to assist with our day to day functions while traveling. I used the iPad to write the previous post and use it document ideas and capture plans or photos in an instant, what a game changer.
As my previous posts show, I enjoy bargain hunting at pawn shops and old thrift stores while traveling to rural destinations. This last trip to South Carolina was no different. I acquired a few well priced Peace Dollars to add to my collection. The last sentence shows my problem; how to grow Upwards of Twenty when you are keeping everything you purchase? This has to stop and I spent the remainder of the day admiring the coins I purchased and disliking the fact that my blog was at a standstill. That is when it happened; I was waiting to fill up my rental car at a small gas station. The line was taking forever due to two people in front of me buying lotto tickets. When I finally got to the counter I had decided to purchase two scratch off tickets for the benefit of proving to Upwards of Twenty readers that Lotto is a form of gambling and usually a quick way to lose your money.
I have never been interested in the lottery; sure I buy an occasional ticket to see if I can win the Powerball and spend my days on my private island. Realistically I am just purchasing the ticket to enjoy the daydreaming over the next few days until my bubble bursts and I realize I didn’t even match a single number. I decided to purchase a $1 and $2 scratch off ticket. The $1 ticket was call Find The 9’s, and the idea was: Get 3 like amounts, win that amount, Get any number of the special “9” symbols and win the corresponding prize ranging from $9-$999. The odds for the $1 ticket were 1 in 4.35, which basically means you are a fool for purchasing the dollar tickets. You also have to factor in the fact that 1 in 4.35 includes a free ticket win, which actually decreases your chances of ever being successful. The $2 ticket was Cash Whirlwind, which was a game where you tried to match your numbers to the winning numbers to win prize shown or get a Whirlwind symbol and win all 10 prizes. The odds were 1 in 4.09 for this ticket, which is about 1.46% better than the $1 dollar.
I figured with the odds stacked against me, this could be a good lesson for my readers. “There is no such thing as a getting rich quick.” So during my next driving break I decided to scratch and see. Well to my surprise I won $5 on the $2 ticket. The $1 ticket was bust but hey a 40% return plus the thrill of actually winning something was well worth the gamble. As always this led me to do some research when I return to my hotel that evening.
“A 2010 study found that households with take home income less than $13,000 spent an average of $645 a year on lottery tickets.” (alternet.org) This was only one of the many reports I read on how the lottery is basically a tax on the poor. This takes me back to my college days when I was considered one of the poor, as all college kids should be. I lived close to a small seafood shop that also sold basic grocery items. A lot of time it was more convenient to walk across to the street for basic items instead of getting in my car. I was always amazed by the amount of people waiting to cash there weekly pay checks. This alone was crazy due to the amount they charged to cash checks when it would be free to deposit into your own bank. Then the person would turn around and spend $20 – 100 on lotto tickets. This literally blew my mind. Is this due to desperation, lack of education, laziness, marketing, or pleasure? I would never spend that type of money if I was in that financial situation. As they say before you criticize and accuse walk a mile in my shoes, but give me a break. How many weeks can one person go wasting money on lotto tickets to realize that it is a complete scam. Oh well I am not going to keep harping on what’s wrong with the Lottery, when it has already been done so well in the following links.
With my recent winnings of $2 to add to the recent change $0.47 I found on the ground, we are really on a roll for the first six months since inception. This brings us to a total of $45.91 a gain of $25.91. This is not the speed I had hoped to increase my investments but at least in half a year I have doubled it. I still have three projects in the works that will really get this blog moving forward full steam. All in all I am enjoying the ability to free flow my ideas for everyone to follow along with. Talk to you all soon. JB