Investors can learn from lottery
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What Lessons Investors Can Learn From the $1.5-billion Powerball Lottery?

The U.S. Powerball lottery and its “world record” US$1.5-billion jackpot (or thereabouts) certainly caused quite a stir over the past few days. Even Canadians, apparently, were scrambling to get in on the action, flocking to American border towns to buy tickets. Jeesh.

I don’t want to be a party pooper, and 1.5 billion is a lot of shekels, but really, you’d probably have been better off putting the price of a Powerball ticket and whatever you spent on gas into something else. Like, say, paying down your mortgage, adding to an RRSP or — heaven forbid — buying a Canadian stock.

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Replies to this Post

  1. Ali P says:

    The only real lesson from all of this is that you understand the desperation people have and their unwillingness to understand probabilities. That’s my big take away. There you go.

  2. Sonny Husk says:

    Hey all i know is i still wouldn’t invest in Canadian stocks ;P

  3. Timothy Willmarth says:

    Hmmm…not sure much can be learned here in terms of investment advice primarily because the amount that goes into ticket buying is so low. Personally, i see no harm in buying tickets and seeing where things fall. I rarely do but its just a nice feeling to have.

  4. Gregg Ray says:

    I just found out the day after that Canadians were allowed to take part. 🙁 I’m always the last to know.

  5. Yeates says:

    At least it teaches one how to better manage things. I mean, to become eligible for a ticket you can’t just buy it online. You have to plan things out like renewing your passport, traveling to the border, paying for gas, keep up with lottery regulations since it wasn’t done by a Canadian body, and more.

    Doing research you also find out that despite being Canadian you’d still be forced to pay state tax (the state you bought the ticket in).

  6. Jamie says:

    I still don’t understand why someone would take the one-time payment over the annuality? The annual payments would be over $18m/year and it gets passed on to beneficiaries. Unless someone had big plays for the $651m i don’t understand.

  7. Durrell Howard says:

    What’s to learn? The odds are still remote that anyone could ever win something like that. I read the Powerball rules require 6 #s, the first 5 are in the range of 1-69, and the last ball is 1-26. The odds are crazy huge.

  8. Konrad P says:

    Is it asking about what one would do if won? For me, i’d just spend, spend all day. I mean seriously how can you run out of a billion.

  9. Jett Gentile says:

    My jaw is still on the floor on that size.

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