Money for Nothing
The lure of the lottery is powerful. Just pony up a few bucks for a ticket while you're buying that coffee at the corner store and a few days later, all your dreams could come true — a temptation that is especially strong now that the multi-state Powerball jackpot is up to a whopping $441 million. This line of thinking compels Americans to spend more on lottery tickets than books, movies, video games, sporting events, and music combined. In total, we drop more than $71 billion a year on the dream that comes with that little slip of paper. For virtually everyone who plays, however, that dream will never come true, and for the tiny minority that beat the odds, the dream often turns out to be a nightmare.