The Scenario
Do you identify with being a high or low risk gambler?
Sam Savings Sam

Savings Sam
When I first got sober, my gambling was putting me in risky places (the sports bars). So now my gambling is limited to home or other places without alcohol so I won’t be tempted.
Bonnie Balanced Bonnie

Balanced Bonnie
I realized when gambling at the casino I feel the same high I did in my using days. So now I go with my new friends who do not use, and am very clear I only gamble a couple times a year.
Ian Impulsive Ian

Impulsive Ian
What’s wrong with risk? Isn’t that what it’s all about, as long as I am not using? It is better to spend money gambling on something I have a chance on winning rather than buying drugs!

 

Part I

When you gamble in small amounts, like purchasing a weekly lotto ticket, sometimes it's easy to forget that over time, the cost of many small wagers can add up to a large amount.

What you play... and how often
Yearly Cost
Playing PowerBall once a week $104
Entering betting pools with coworkers/friends ($25/month) $300
Purchasing $2 scratch-off tickets 3 times a week $312
Playing $100 on slot machines monthly $1,200
Buying into a Bingo game weekly ($30/week) $1,560
$50 of playing cards weekly with friends $2,600

What are the Odds?
Lotteries will often list the odds of winning as something like "1 in 36", meaning one ticket out of every 36 will win. What they mean by that is simply the odds of winning something. If you get a pair of matching numbers and win $3, that means you won something.

For Powerball, the odds of winning the jackpot with any given ticket are 1 in 146,107,962, because there are that many possible number combinations per ticket. For Mega Millions, your odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 175,711,536.

Why not try putting a small amount of money into your savings account every week, instead of risking a financial loss to gambling?

Remember!The 'fun' portion of your budget is where gambling should fit in. If you allow yourself $100 in fun money per month, keep in mind that if you spend $75 on concert tickets and lose $50 at the casino in the same month, you've now spent an extra $25 that isn't in your budget.

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