Winning the Lottery

My partner and I have an ongoing joke that goes something like this: “When and if we get the funds, we should do X, Y, or Z”. It might be painting the house, or getting a desired medical elective treatment, or going on a long trip.  It could be anything we want to do and can’t at the moment, because we don’t have the funds to do it, just yet.

One of us almost always adds: “When you win the lottery …”. Always the other person. Always implying that we might never get those desired funds without what amounts to Divine Intervention.

Yes, someone does indeed eventually win the lottery. But given there are millions of others playing with you, and that there are millions of combinations of numbers to choose, it’s so unlikely that you’ll win that it gets close to amounting to Divine Intervention.

And yet, there is a tiny voice inside me that says: “I have as much chance as anybody. It has to be my turn now!”

As if there are ‘turns’, and that there is a universal ‘fairness’ that lets everyone win at least once. Even so, practically all of us (well, millions of us) automatically focus on the possibility of winning instead of the probability of losing, forgetting that it is a remote possibility against an almost certain probability.

It seems we are all optimists – and that is a really good thing. But what I’m also advocating is the injection of a certain amount of down-to-earthiness: if I even unconsciously count on getting a large amount of money to solve my financial woes, then I might spend as if that is imminently true. However, if I count only on what I know to be true – like, what I’m actually earning right now – then I’ll be a lot more frugal … and stand a bigger chance of having what I really need when I really need it.

Winning the lottery very likely won’t happen for us; winning in life can be almost certainly probable if we learn to care for ourselves emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically – including financially.

This blog is as much a reminder to myself as it is for anyone else. I hope it helps.



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Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at .



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