The Truth About Buying Lottery Tickets: Investment or Entertainment?

Winning the lottery is great entertainment, so make that your priority when you buy tickets. Photo: Ohio Lottery

Many years ago I said buying a ticket in the lottery was an investment. I was wrong.

I used to justify the term by saying that the ROI (Return On Investment) is enormous when you win. So if the odds of winning with 1 ticket is 1 in 75 million, then the return is a 75,000,000% ROI. Or something as extreme.

The return is so great in fact, that you needn't care how much you put into the game. Because when you win, it would be paid back millions of times over.

The problem with this theory was - you had to win. And sometimes you had to keep playing before the return was realized. So this didn't make it an investment in the truest sense.

New Jersey resident Phin Suy won $128 million in 2003, bought this mansion and has been enjoying his enormous ROI ever since.

Many serious Silver Lotto System players win dozens of prizes a month. I've got the record for 22 tickets in one game, and recently 15 tickets won in a single game.

Our return on investment is very, very good indeed.

But for the average player who puts in $20 a game expecting a ROI for every game it's not going to work.

My record wins in one game, 15 tickets (top) and 22 tickets.

Players have to look at another way of looking at their ticket purchase, and my answer - after a lot of thought - was to call it an 'entry fee.'

Which it is.

Because the only way you can get into a game... whether it's baseball, football or a park, is with an entry fee. Whether you get value out of the event is up to many factors. But you have to take the step first.

Sometimes you don't know what your entry fee will get you.

Many players haven't figured this out yet. I know it when they email and say they 'lost' X dollars. Even though they had win prizes in those games - where ANY of the prizes could have been a jackpot prize - they didn't want to lose any money on it.

Understandable I guess, but not real-world pretty. So what's the answer?

Calling the lottery ticket cost an entry fee is not going to make anyone change their attitude. But look what happens when you take a different viewpoint...

In our country we have large insects called wetas, and they are quite distinctive as well as being unique to our country, New Zealand. Our film maker Peter Jackson has even named his special effects studios after them - Weta Workshop - located just 20 minutes away from my home.

The Weta Workshop sign - with model weta insect -  to the entrance of the New Zealand-based studio.

For years I used to hate these unpleasant looking insects. They are so ugly that the creature in the 1979 film Alien was thought to be based on the weta.

One day I was cleaning the driveway when I saw the antennae waving from inside a grating. I looked closer and saw a weta clinging on, with just its eyes showing. It stayed there while I went about my work.

Then when I went into the garage to put the broom away, I looked back. There was the weta on the driveway, crawling away. OK, I thought - it knew I had gone. That was proof it has a little brain!

And from that moment on I recognised it as a fellow creature, and I no longer dislike them.

While I still wouldn't pick one up, I can tolerate them much better. All because of an action that changed my thinking.

Playing the lottery is fun to look forward to when the draw is live.

If you need such a mind-change, then try to look upon your lottery playing as entertainment. Sure, I know you are as serious about it as I am.

But before each game, after you've bought your tickets... paid your entry fee... allow yourself to get excited about what might happen if you won.

Spend some time thinking about what you will buy, and discuss it with other players. You'll be surprised how the change of attitude will make you a better player.

How did some winners spend their wins? Video: USA Today


You're a serious player if you are a Silver Lotto System owner who also has LottoPredict and a PRO Custom Profiles. You play 60 lines a game or more, and concentrate only on the best odds game as shown by the Star Rating in LottoPredict.

You may also play for days or months while you wait to hit the jackpot. For some Silverites it comes relatively soon - both our $22.2 million winner and one of our $1 million winners had played the System for not much more than a year.

RELATED: How Much Should You Spend On A Lottery Game Each Week?