Most coupons provide opportunities to save money, and many provide nice little opportunities to save on things you need. Sure, you might be also enticed to spend money on something you might not otherwise buy. That’s a downside, to be sure. But at least you’re getting something of value back when you purchase most merchandise.
Well, I came across a different kind of coupon some weeks back: lottery coupons. These friendly, fun little coupons found their way to my mailbox somehow, along with the opportunity to save some money on certain purchases. Such as, buy one get one free on various purchaes.
Only thing is, these “purchases” are lottery tickets. You know, the type where you get a set of numbers, and if that highly unlikely combination of numbers is selected, you might win big bucks. And you know, the type that are also not likely to make you a positive return on your investment.
So with these coupons, you get an opportunity to save money on a miniscule chance to make money. This doesn’t seem like my type of deal. Why not take that same money and save it? Even in a low interest bank account, it will still have a higher expected return than a lottery. How about putting the money in the market? That will also have a higher expected value, right? One can spend time looking for other ways to save money. Finding good credit card deals might be one example of a better use of time. Or, trying to find other ways to save or make money.
Now look, I’m all about having a little fun – so there’s no harm in spending a dollar on a ticket, right? I say that even though I personally don’t buy these things. Again, for the reasons above – throwing away money and getting little or nothing back. When one thinks of how to invest in 2012, lottery tickets don’t exactly come to mind. But even though a dollar or two here and there isn’t a huge deal, it’s the idea that something like this could get people excited is what gets me shaking my head. I mean, you know that there were people who saw these buy one get one free coupons and just got totally excited about them. For some reason, lottery tickets have a magical effect on some people. Like I’ve said before, caveat emptor on opportunities to get something for next to nothing!
So in case it’s not clear, I will not be using these coupons for lottery tickets:)
It’s fun to think about what we would do if we won the lottery, but I guess it only matters if you actually play, right? You don’t have a chance to win unless you play! Not that you have much of a chance even if you do play, though.
Alright, you get what I think of this. Maybe I’m too rigid about this, what do you think?
My Questions for You
Do you ever play the lottery?
What do you think about playing such games vs other ways to make money?
Do you see this my way, that these coupons are a bit ridiculous?