Using the state lottery as a way to save money?!

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You’ve probably heard me encouraging people to adopt saving money as a lifestyle choice. But not everyone can easily heed the message. As you move down the income ladder, people either can’t or won’t save any money.

Yet at the same time, there’s this convenience store gas station down near my house that every Friday night is swarmed with people buying lottery tickets. I see people drop $20 at a time and we’re talking about people who absolutely need that money to pay bills and for their families.

There’s that lure of those big billboards on highways pushing the huge jackpot of $140 million or whatever it is…even though you’re more likely to die from a bee sting, a shark bite or getting hit by lighting than you are to win that money.

Even my executive producer Christa has in the past thrown $3 at a time into an office pool, much to my dismay!

Well, what if you could both spend money on a lottery ticket and save money for your future at the same time?

Several years ago, I was intrigued by a Forbes article that advocated for a combo savings/lottery ticket. The idea was that 50 cents out of every dollar spent on a lottery ticket would go into a personal savings account and the other 50 cents would pay for the jackpot. That’s the idea that’s been implemented in Britain, Brazil, Germany, Mexico and New Zealand, according to a recent report I read in The Financial Times.

I like it because it’s a way of tricking people into saving money, if you will. It’s been said that lotteries are the greatest “tax” on the poor in the Western World. So the beauty of this idea is that it uses that “tax” as a way to create savings.

I think we should bring this idea to the United States. Why should those other countries have all the fun and save money at the same time?



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