Proper Lottery Etiquette

All you need is a dollar and a dream – that’s the motto of every lottery player. Yet, some folks still don’t quite grasp the game. Modern Manners Guy has 3 tips for handling the Mega Millions. 

Richie Frieman
5-minute read
Episode #195

As I write this, the Mega Millions Lottery is well over $400 million. By the time this goes to my editor, it will be over $500 million, and I’m sure by the time you read this, it will either be won, or over $600 million. With all the frenzy swarming around the lottery these days, it seems that some people still don’t quite grasp the concept of the game. And yes, it is a game, not a retirement plan. For advice on that, check out Money Girl.

Proper Lottery Etiquette  

I admit it, even though my odds of winning are 1 in 176,000,000 (yes, that’s 176 million!), I’ve gotten caught up in the fun of “what if…” But while buying my tickets, I couldn’t help but notice all the bizarre habits that involve playing the lottery, be it for half a billion dollars or just one thousand.  So before you run out to play your lucky numbers, check out my top 3 Quick and Dirty Tips for proper lottery etiquette:

Tip #1 – Don’t Rush 

As a novice lottery player, I had no idea how “urgent” it was to get my numbers. I’ve had at least a dozen people ask me if I’ve purchased my tickets yet. But last I checked, I had a good day or two before the drawing. And not that I’m procrastinating, I just didn’t realize it was a race! Sure, I got my lucky numbers, but they’re not going anywhere. Still, I keep feeling like I’m missing something. It seems that everyone is bowling over one another to get their tickets first. Does that really matter? Do you really need to leave work early to stop at the nearby 7-11? Last I checked there are about 10 places in a 2-mile radius of every American city that sells tickets, no?

If you find yourself obsessed with getting your tickets, I need you to take a breath and realize that it’s okay to be patient. Allow me shed some light on why and HOW the lottery works. The amount up for grabs gets higher because we buy tickets! Meaning, it’s highly unlikely for the stores to run out of them. Plus, whether you are the first person to pick your numbers or the last, you have the same chance as anybody else. If my numbers are the same as yours, we’d end up splitting the loot anyway. Got it? So, when you get the itch to drop everything, drive 90 miles per hour, push women and children out of the way to get your numbers in, just remember, it’s not going anywhere. All you have to do is buy your ticket before the drawing starts. Plenty of time, folks. No need to panic.