The Mega Millions jackpot is now at an estimated $1.55 billion, and the next drawing is Tuesday night after there was no winner on Friday. (The numbers were 11, 30, 45, 52, 56, and the gold Mega Ball was 20.) Tempted? Here are other numbers for you to mull over: You have a 1 in 302.6 million chance of winning. They’re not great odds.
Want better odds of making money? The National Association of Investors/BetterInvesting, a nonprofit investment education organization that’s been around for seven decades, ran some numbers, and the results could be a wake-up call for people hoping for a get-rich-quick lottery scheme with a dollar and a dream. On Friday, stocks closed lower after Fitch downgraded the U.S. credit rating earlier in the week, and the July labor report showed the economy is still adding jobs, but at a moderating pace. But over the long term, research shows that the stock market is still a better bet. Suppose a lottery dreamer spent $40 each month on lottery tickets beginning in 2002 and, every year, that amounted to $480 for tickets that were, in all likelihood, losers. In two decades, you would be $9,600 out of pocket. Instead of being a lottery dreamer, imagine that person was a stock-market planner, and put that same $40 each month into the S&P 500 from 2002 to 2022. That would equate to approximately $22,000 profit, said Ken Zendel, CEO of the National Association of Investors/BetterInvesting. The compound annual growth rate for S&P 500