Periodically, I buy a lottery ticket when the cash jackpot exceeds $100 million. Even with such a large jackpot, I know that hoping for a lottery win is a very, very bad retirement plan. The odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot is 1:175,711,536 and the expected return on a $1 lottery ticket is about $0.60 for a $100 million cash jackpot.
Basically, I like to think of a lottery ticket as entertainment. For a few hours, I have a chance to become an instant multi-millionaire. Also, for entertainment purposes, I've thought about what I might do if we did win a major lottery jackpot.
For reference, my spouse and I have agreed a winning jackpot would be split into three parts, one for each of us and the third portion would go into savings. Here's what I would do with my part:
If I won a lottery, I would not buy a new car, a new house, a vacation home, or a new wardrobe. For now, I don't want any more "stuff." As for travel, I expect my spouse would spend part of her portion on that, and I'll get to tag along, just as she would tag along for my VIP seating :-) Finally, the money for our daughter's college education would come from the third portion, which goes into family savings.
UPDATE: In the evening after publishing this post, I came up with a few more spending ideas. I will publish the addtional ideas next week, since I don't expect to win anytime soon;-)
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This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.
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