So, you have a dream to be a millionaire? Consider playing your state’s lottery. Yes, forget about Powerball and Mega Millions. These games have made people billions. But do you know their odds?
The Powerball has odds 1 in 292.2 million while Mega Millions has odds 1 in 302.6 million. To provide some context, you’re more likely to be killed by falling airplane parts than winning either of these jackpots.
So, Why choose a state’s lottery?
1. Better Odds
Unlike national lotteries, state lotto games have realistic odds. Take Montana Cash as an example. It comes with a guaranteed jackpot of $40,000 or more. Yet, the odds of winning are 1 in 610,000.
Sure, these are still slim odds. But they are much better compared to national games. MT’s jackpot odds are also better than what folks in New York have: 1 in 45 million to win the NY grand prize of $2 million and above.
Jackpots aside, state lotteries give you bigger odds for winning small prizes. With Montana Cash, the odds of winning $200 are 1 in 3,054. The odds of winning $5 are 1 in 78. Looks more decent, right?
2. State Lotteries are Equally Good
Imagine this…$1000 every day for the rest of your life. Would you ever work again? Maybe you would. Maybe you wouldn’t. That would be your call. In the meantime, a $1000 payment, daily for life is what the winner of “Lucky for Life” lotto earns.
Lucky for Life started as a lottery based in Connecticut. Then a few states cut a deal so that their citizens could be included. These days, Lucky for Life is one of the biggest national and state lotteries. You can discover more at lotteryamerica.com. They all charge $1-$3 and have decent prizes.
In New York, lottery tickets to the state’s lottery also cost $2 yet you can win $2 million. Not bad. New Jersey has a similar game with $1 tickets and a grand prize starting $2M. In many other jurisdictions, you can win $500,000 or more.
As such, there’s a reason to pay attention to state lotteries. They might not payout record-winning amounts. But they can help pay off your mortgage, buy a new car or start your business. And aren’t these everyone’s goals?
3. Minimal Costs
This might sound ridiculous but you save more money with state lotteries. The average state charges $2 for a ticket. That means buying a ticket every week for an entire year would cost you $104. Over a period of one decade, the cost would be $1,040.
With national lotteries, tickets cost $3 if you want to win the grand prize. This translates to $156 for one year of tickets and $1.560 if you bought entries weekly for a decade.
If you were to buy two tickets per week, you would save over $1000 playing state lotteries after a decade. It’s not a lot of money to save in ten years. But it’s still enough money to buy a new TV, or take a weekend off with friends.
4. There’s a Variety of State Lotteries
State lotteries come in many forms, which opens an endless list of winning possibilities. Some games challenge you to match four balls—higher odds of winning but small payouts. In contrast, others—California Crossword—involve matching letters instead of numbers.
The best part is that you can participate in many games at the same time. In California, for example, you can participate in at least five lotteries. First, there’s the national jackpots like Powerball, Mega Millions and Super Lotto.
Then there are small state games like Fantasy Five, Daily 3, Hot Spot and Daily Derby. Most of these lotteries cost a dollar two and they pay up to $100,000 daily. Considering they have great odds, they are better options than the bigger, national games.
5. Help Increase Taxes to your State
Lotteries are a critical source of income for many states. On average, each competition pays 47% of gambled money to the state as tax. If people buy tickets worth $100 million, you state will collect up to 47$ million.
Almost every state has high taxes for lotteries, so you shouldn’t expect a better deal if you move to a different place. In fact, you should consider playing local lotteries to keep the money circulating in your jurisdiction.
In turn, this money could be used to fund roads, housing and other necessities for you and your compatriots. Of course, we all wish they wouldn’t tax winnings. But this is something you should expect too.
6. Treats For your Friends and Family
Unlike the Powerball, state lotteries give you a genuine chance to win decent money—say $100,00 to $2 million. It might not be life-changing. But it could give you a chance to change your family or friends’ lives in a small way.
Think of the things you’ve always wished to do for others: buy your dad a new car, take your best friends to their dream vacation, help pay off your sister’s mortgage. The list is endless. But you could minimize it with decent cash out from a state’s lottery.
Truth be told, all lotteries are games of chance. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try. You might not win this year. But who knows what happens next year, or the year after that?
Also Read: How You Can Make Your Financial Life Better
7. You Won’t go broke
Ever heard of people who went broke for playing lotteries too much? There are none. And that’s because these games are dirt cheap and limit the number of entries per drawing. The average limit is five tickets per drawing.
If tickets cost $2, the most you can lose in a week is $10. Per month, you would part with $40 and $480 per year. Unless you’re full of misfortunes, you would win a prize at some point, meaning the state’s lottery wouldn’t be that big of a loss.
Isn’t there a better way to spend your money? Maybe there is. But we are talking about spending a dollar on the chance to become a millionaire. In that case, a $2 investment is pretty much worth it.
Featured image credits: CS Monitor