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Lottery Players Lose Out on Billions in Investing Returns Money spent on lottery tickets would grow quickly if invested instead, study finds
JUPITER, Florida --- Oct. 22, 2018 --- Americans spend close to $73 billion on Mega Millions and other lottery tickets during a typical year, according to U.S. Census data, yet the odds of winning a big jackpot are overwhelmingly poor. But if that money were invested in stocks instead, it would grow quickly and impressively -- by more than $26 billion within two years, a MoneyWise.com study finds.
The full story can be found here: https://moneywise.com/a/stop-buying-lottery-tickets
The average American who spent about $313 playing lotteries in 2016 would have had $425 by the end of 2017 if the money had been placed instead into an S&P; 500 index fund, a fairly simple investment that seeks to mimic the benchmark S&P; 500 stock index. The $72.7 billion that U.S. adults spent collectively on lotteries would have grown to $98.9 billion in index funds.
The MoneyWise.com report also looks at the lost investment gains from the annual lottery spending in each state.
For example, if Kentuckians had invested the $921 million they shelled out for lottery tickets in 2016, that pool of money would have plumped up to almost $1.3 billion by the end of 2017.
A companion article reveals the states where average, per-person spending on lottery tickets is highest -- and how those amounts could have grown if invested: http://moneywise.com/a/states-spend-most-on-lottery-tickets
"It's OK to spend a couple of dollars just for fun on those rare occasions when there's a stratospheric lottery jackpot," said Doug Whiteman, MoneyWise.com editor-in-chief and saving-money analyst. "But if you're buying tickets on a regular basis, you could easily be spending hundreds a year. Very few people come out ahead. Why not invest that money and earn good returns?"
Standing in the lottery line at the supermarket might seem harmless and easy -- but today's apps and automated investments services make investing incredibly simple.
"And you won't get that very familiar feeling that can comes over you when you leave a store with lottery tickets in your hand," Whiteman said. "You know, that feeling that maybe you just threw your money away."
METHODOLOGY: MoneyWise.com gathered U.S. Census data on 2016 lottery spending nationwide and in each state and determined the average annual spending per adult. Then, 2016 and 2017 S&P; 500 returns (with dividends reinvested) were used to calculate how the amounts spent on lotteries might have grown by the end of 2017 if the money had been invested in S&P; 500 index funds instead.
About MoneyWise.com: MoneyWise.com was founded in 2017 to provide personal finance information, news and tools in a way that is clear, trustworthy, valuable and cool. With editorial offices in South Florida and administrative offices in Toronto, we give tips on how to save money, how to find the best bank accounts, how to choose a credit card, how to get the best mortgage rates and how to navigate many other money matters. We like to make the topics fun, but we're serious about our mission: to help consumers make smart financial decisions and get ahead.
Contact: Doug Whiteman Editor-in-Chief
A Traditional Valentine’s Day? It’ll Cost You Close to $600 in 2018
Chocolates, jewelry, red roses, champagne and dinner out add up to a pricey holiday
JUPITER, Florida, and TORONTO --- Feb. 1, 2018 --- Does your idea of the perfect Valentine’s Day include chocolates, red roses, the gift of diamond earrings, champagne and dinner out at a fine restaurant? Your budget may not love it, because in 2018 those items total about $600 on average, a MoneyWise.com report finds.
The full story can be found here: https://moneywise.com/a/cost-of-love-survey
For its first annual Cost of Love Index of Valentine’s Day prices, MoneyWise.com gathered price data from online retailers, market research firms and the online floral marketplace BloomNation. The research found these are this year’s average prices for the traditional Valentine’s Day trappings:
A heart-shaped box of chocolates: $17.24 ¼ carat diamond solitaire stud earrings in 14K white gold: $332.80 A dozen long-stemmed red roses: $94.83 A 750ml bottle of French champagne: $51.85 Dinner for two at a fine-dining restaurant: $99.84
The grand total: $596.56.
"There's a good deal of pressure to go all out on Valentine's Day, and it can be quite expensive," said Doug Whiteman, MoneyWise.com editor-in-chief and part-time penny-pincher. "But there are ways to search for bargains and find alternate gifts and activities without disappointing the object of your affection. As with other holidays, prices on traditional gifts are inflated in early to mid-February."
For example, MoneyWise.com found that prices for red roses tend to be 30% higher at Valentine’s Day than at other times.
The report suggests some less expensive and, perhaps, more heartfelt ways to show love to your Valentine. One might save the dinner out for the weekend -- after Feb. 14 -- or find a perfectly decent bottle of domestic champagne. Couples may even find it more romantic to bake a cake instead of opting for chocolates, or to prepare a romantic dinner together at home. Another recommendation is to buy roses at one of the big-box stores that offer better pricing.
"Romance and frugality do not have to be mutually exclusive," said Whiteman.
METHODOLOGY: MoneyWise.com averaged the online prices for similarly-sized heart-shaped boxes of chocolates from several name-brand chocolate companies, and averaged the online prices for similar pairs of diamond earrings sold by major jewelry retailers. The Valentine’s Day roses data came from BloomNation, the champagne price was supplied by Nielsen, and the 2018 average Valentine’s Day dinner check for two (excluding tax) at a fine-dining restaurant was provided by NPD Group.
MoneyWise.com was founded in 2017 to provide personal finance information, advice, news and tools in a way that is clear, trustworthy, valuable and cool. With editorial offices in South Florida and administrative offices in Toronto, we give tips on how to save money, how to find the best bank accounts, how to choose a credit card, how to get the best mortgage rates and how to navigate many other money matters. We like to make the topics fun, but we’re serious about our mission: to help consumers make smart financial decisions and get ahead.
Contact: Doug Whiteman, Editor-in-Chief