Life Is Not A Game Of Luck: What I Learned From Losing $1.6 Billion

So unless you have been living under a rock in the US, you have probably heard about the insane Powerball jackpot that kept rising and rising.

We now have news that at the highest powerball in history, there were 3 winning tickets pulled last week.

As the jackpot grew so did the eyes and greed of anyone who could throw $2 as many times as possible towards a ticket.

I, too, fell for the hype. I brought 3 tickets when the Powerball was about $400-something million. I did not even fully understand if I bought the tickets right but that did not matter. I was part of the gold rush of it all. I did not win of course after that so I said, screw it. Clearly gambling my future with 6 numbers is not for me.

A few days later when the jackpot rose, my work comrades had joined forces to buy a ticket for everyone in the pool. If one ticket in the group won we would split it evenly which at the time amounted to something like $47 million each.

I refused for days until I was like, what if they do win and I turn out to be the sucker who lost a chance at $47 mil over $2? I drank the peer pressure kool-aid and joined the crowd, thinking maybe we had a real shot. Statistically though, the chances were like 1 in 175 million at least. The office energy around it was high and fun.

I normally would not do a group thing but my co-workers are amazing, trustworthy, honest human beings and I knew the chances of us being on The First 48 due to a lottery winner snapping off, was low. This was the right crew to do business with. I was on the ready to call my student loan providers to settle all my college debt fully and finally. I was skeptical of really winning but wanted it for all of us. It was fun to take a chance.

That’s the thing, it’s taking a chance. I lost $8 total in my first and last Powerball craze but some people spend $500, $100K or much more for just a shot…a chance to go big or go home. Unfortunately, almost everyone ends up at home looking sour in the face.

We want to believe we might have gotten the magic touch that day and this will be the one to change everything. I want to believe in the magic too and wish if I wished hard enough, things I want would just happen.

Maybe they don’t because the chances are too slim and they always have been. Maybe they don’t because what I think I want won’t be as satisfying if it comes without earning and preparing for it. Maybe they don’t because life just doesn’t work like that.

I hope the people who did win the lottery have their priorities in order and respect the immense life alteration they fell into. I hope they are not ravaged by those around them and will maintain dignity. I hope they gain wisdom and lose vultures. I hope it adds good to their lives and they do not end up poor, unfortunate souls who gave up their privacy and life for fame and fortune.

We all know money is necessary and nice to have more than enough but money itself does not bring joy. If you do not have joy without money, you probably will not find much long-lasting happiness with it either. 

One of my favorite sayings is “Be Still and Know.” I am using that to close up the $8 hole I opened up in my expectations. Be still and know that what is for you, is for you.

There is no need to toss a dice of chance to get more quickly to any destination before my time. I will be still and know so instead, I will stay steady at busting my butt to work hard for what I want and need. Life is not merely a game of luck.



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Life Untangled

I am a Chicago business professional with a passionate love for writing and living life out loud. I created this lifestyle blog to motivate and inspire aspirational individuals who want to live their best version of life without fear. My goal is to empower people all over the world to create lives of joy, success and freedom through personal and professional development. Life moves far too quickly for us not to enjoy the journey. This is to untangling life, love, liberty and the pursuit of peace and happiness. There are many lessons I have learned to embrace when it comes to life, love and work in our culturally rich world. I want to share what I have learned so it can encourage you to live your best version of life. Plus, I'm a social introvert so I am always thinking about things like how to destroy negative stereotypes around being courageous and brave enough to live life to the fullest, sometimes on your own. There is no need for you to wait on someone else in order to live YOUR life! It is exciting and thrilling. You have that level of brave in you no matter your personality type and I dare you to live it out loud! Are you ready to learn how?

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