Lottery: The Retirement Plan For Those Who Don't Understand Mathematics


When my friends first heard I was leaving my good job to start my own business, they generally thought I was crazy. Even my friends from business school scolded me and said things like 'Don't you know most new business fail?'

Owning Your Own Business - Insane!

Of course I knew the odds were against me. There are all kinds of statistics on the probability of a new small business making it. I've been teaching business for years and every textbook has a different number. Some say 90% will fail within the first year, other sources report 95%, still others say 99%.

The number is just trivia. I tell my students the odds are against you.

To make a business succeed you need the right combination of
  • Something that is missing in the market place
  • Something you can provide better than anyone else
  • Something that enough people are willing and able to buy
  • Something that you can sell for more than you paid for it
You also need
  • Enough money to survive until the business makes a profit
  • Tough skin to ignore the skeptics
  • Acceptance of the emotional and financial roller-coaster of owning your own business
  • Perseverance (Stick-to-it-iveness is more important than being a genius)
Most of my students are afraid of such an undertaking, but most of them will cheerfully buy a lottery ticket and believe this will be the answer to their problems.

In my class, when we are discussing financial planning, I write on the black board in the largest letters I can,


Then I tell them the Lottery is the retirement plan for people who didn't learn math. If you play the PowerBall game, your chance of winning the jackpot is 1 in 175,223,510. You have a better chance of getting hit by lightning.

If you take the worst case numbers of success in business, then your chance of success (or hitting the jackpot) is 1 in 100. Statistically, your business is more likely to succeed by a factor of 175,000 as compared to the PowerBall game.

So why would anyone buy a lottery ticket?
  • The risk is minimum – investment $2.00
  • If you play, you will probably lose. If you don't play, you absolutely won't win.
  • So if you lose, it's really no big deal, or a surprise.
If you lose in business, and you have everything you have on the line, you risk all your money, your house, your credit score, your reputation.

Wealthy Affiliate is a low cost, minimized risk way to dive into internet marketing. I believe any of us can beat the odds and make this success if we follow the advice of the experts, and never give up. Most people will give up too soon.

This place makes much more sense than buying a lottery ticket.


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Recent Comments


I Want to put a HTML code in my website but the option is not there

Needless to say that i always read your posts and you're a constant source of inspiration...

Thanks for the encouragement. It means a lot.

I need help finding the HTML in my admin area of my website where it should locate i only see visual and text !

I believe the HTLM code can be seen on the Text tab - I don't know HTML so I stay on the Visual side of the world. Hope this helps, Lewis.

You are right! so glad we have friends like you to remind us, not to give up. WOW is is tempting.

Thanks again, Kali ; O)

I had a business that didn't make a profit for 6 years. Let me tell you, the urge to quit and get a real job was always on my mind.

Fortunately I stuck it out until the business reached critical mass, then the money started pouring in. The only problem then was keeping up with the workload.

I love ethical business! Instead of being hucksters trying to talk someone out of their money, I believe good business is a ministry on how to better help people improve their lives.


Honestly is is funny you should say this I believe what you are saying also and then here is what I received todayWednesday 6/26/2013
Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.
~ Psalm 119:1, NLT
I am sitting watching my grandkids play in my pool and just received a great guest blog from one of my daughters, So really Kymee quit...silly me. and then a great post from you.

Thanks have a great day enjoy the view of the lake, I want to see your view please post pictures some day : O)

There are a couple of pics on my profile page if you want to take a look. One is the trail where I ride my bike along the harbor, and the other is the view from my work space.

Yah!! I will go directly. ;O)

Have a great day

That is so cool, the weather is warmer now so it has be be bright and blue. 10 miles would be fun. here where I live there are steep hills all around need to take my bike to the low lands to make it fun to ride. It is neat you have one so close.

Grand kids are the best. The best revenge, that is. You can play with them, wind them up with sugar and caffeine, then send them home. Karma in action!

I read this sign that said children unattended will be given a puppy and a expresso and then sent home.... I loved it. I think they should add one of the push popcorn toys to that.

Reminds me of one Christmas. My bro was dating a girl who had a very active 2 year old son. When we went Christmas shopping, the mom told Eric if he bought her son anything loud, she would remove the batteries.

We found a toy saw that had no batteries but a string that you pulled and the saw sounded like a real Skil saw - very loud and annoying. His mom was not happy.

I believe they broke up shortly after that. So sad.

OK where is the HAHA you don't sound like you are that sad.....

Hi, Kali, I like your postings. You can write in a very interesting way and I enjoy them. And I learn from you too.

We both are teachers so I ask, do You have also summer vacation right now? So you have more time to invest here in WA.

Yes, I am on summer vacation. I go back to school on August 1st. I spend about 5 hours a day on WA - 7 days a week.

Once school starts, I will cut back slightly, but I still will have 30 hours or so to work on it. It amazes me, I thought this would be an automatic business - you know, build a website then let it work its magic.

Nothing could be further from the truth for me. I answer 200-300 emails a day, then spend the rest of the time researching for blogs and upcoming events. This is definitely a full time job.

What do you teach?


Hello,kaliinozarks. Thanks much for this interesting and inspiring article provided. Once,in 1976 I visited the Ozarks in Missouri. The writer of this article is a reminder of mine. God bless you. Bye for now.


This is indeed a beautiful part of the country. I am semi-retired here and I couldn't be happier with my choice. I never want to return to the city.

What cracks me up, is how people will buy one or two lottery tickets a week, and yet think you're stupid for paying $47 a month to learn how to really make some money. If they continue, they will have paid that $47 in a couple months, with nothing to show for it, yet we're actually learning, and working toward something. I think most people buy lottery tickets, in the off chance of winning "the Big One" and not have to lift a finger, where they actually have to work to make any real money, here or anywhere else. So rather than work for it, they'd rather put their hopes in a miracle, something that will probably never come. I think that's why I don't gamble, the odds just aren't so great. I know people who have won big, but they also lose big, so it all evens out, at best. Nope, I'd rather stifck with WA. I haven't done much so far, but even so, I've received more back than I ever would from buying a lottery ticket, and I've never regretted the money spent.

I read somewhere that most big lottery winners (you know, the grand prize) go bankrupt within a few years. That tells me their problem isn't earning money - but in bad money management.

When the small amount of money I earn teaching (it is pathetic), I have to be one of the best money managers ever. (Thanks, Mom).

I know, I've read that too. A lot of money isn't always a good thing, people go crazy and think they can have the world, but even a million dollars doesn't last forever. I think they think it does though, and they don't even keep track of what they're spending, or something.

I'm terrible with money, I still live like a single military person, get paid, spend it, wait until your next paycheck. I've gotten better since I bought this house, but I never have anything in savings. I'm going to put a couple thousand in savings when I get this money, and not touch it except for real emergencies. I've just been lucky nothing major has happened, but even if it does, there's always a way.

My dad was the money manager in our house, but he never taught me anything. I remember when we were kids, he gave me and my sister 10 silver dollars, she saved hers, and I immediately rode my bike to the store and spent it. He was furious, but still never said anything about why I should save it. I think my sister just watched me get in trouble all those years, and did just the opposite, that's why we're so different today. One thing my dad did teach me, was to be an honest person, he pounded honesty in my head, and I was always a terrible liar anyway, so always got caught, so to this day, I just can't lie.

Anyway, I've made it this far in life on my own, and i've eaten mayonaise sandwiches at times, or whatever happened to be in the fridge, but I did OK, you can do that when you're single. I'm still not the greatest with money, if I want something, I usually get it. I wasn't like that when I was married, because I had someone else to consider, so I was actually pretty good at not overspending, but I still got what I wanted, and that was a long time ago.

I always heard that teacher's pay isn't that great, strange since in a way, you have one of the most important jobs, and have a major influence on the future. I'm shocked these days that kids have to buy all their own supplies, etc. We never had to buy anything growing up, just another thing that has changed for the worse.

Well, better go, and quit talking about me, me, me. You're going to end up knowing me better than most people I know, just from me going on about everything. But then you started it, so I'm not all to blame. It feels about 1,000 degrees out right now (slight exaggeration), so I might end up hanging out in the basement today, and put up my A/C tonight so I can sleep. I guess summer is here.

Hey Kal, this is another example of hope. Votes have been cast for nothing more!

We vote with our dollars, right? I guess those lotto games keep people hoping for something better. I wonder if any sociologists have ever studied if the lotto has beneficial impacts on peoples' perception of satisfaction?

I also heard someone call this ... the lottery, a tax on people who don't get math.

I occasionally pony up a dollar and buy a ticket. I call it income redistribution.

Kali, you are absolutely right! Thanks for the reminder, I don't play any games that cost money. All of those $2.00 lottery tickets add up.

I know a guy whose parents were financially successful, gave him everything as a child. They are gone now and he's blown through all his inheritance. He is convinced it is his destiny to win the lottery. He is broke and hits up all his friends for money to play the games. He assures them he knows how the game is played and he will share big winnings.

One of our mutual friends made the mistake of giving him her credit card number. He charged up to her credit limit for lotto tickets - to the tune of over $1,000.00

She was a single parent who was barely scraping by Guess who paid back the credit card charge (it wasn't him).


OMG Kali. Was it you.

Oh goodness no that wasn't me. I've done some stupid things in my life, but not that bad. I saw that guy coming from a mile away.

Glad to know that you have common sense. Thought so anyway.

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