Are YOU ready to win the lottery?

AP Photo/Nati Harnik
AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Human nature steps in as soon as you get that ticket in your hand. It tells you that you’re going to be the big winner when those six crucial ping-pong balls are pulled.

You start to plan your escape route.

What you would do with all that money.

Charity or a private island?

A million for that distant cousin, or tell him to stick it?

For 99.999999999 percent of us, that ticket will go in the trash the next day. However, $2 seems like a decent investment for that chance to win $600…uhh…$320 million or so in this weekend’s big Powerball drawing. It always happens to someone; why shouldn’t it be you?

Because there’s 300 million people out there, that’s why.

(More: Traded to Arizona, but still a favorite in Atlanta)

But still we play. It’s thrilling to check your numbers and see if your net worth is going to skyrocket faster than Bill Gates’ in the 1990s. It could mean you’d never have to work again, or it could mean that new building on campus at your alma mater will suddenly have your name on it!

Let’s be real, though — that ticket will be in a landfill by next Tuesday. So don’t spend $50 or $100 on tickets. Instead, tell me your intentions and I’ll take that money and do something far more productive with it.

In the event that you do win the big jackpot, here’s a good list of things you should do immediately after you check your ticket. But seriously, don’t blow your paycheck on lottery tickets. If you’re in need of a rush, I hear the stock market is doing pretty well right now.

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