What the Powerball Teaches Us About Ourselves

“While money can't buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.” ~ Groucho Marx


Almost every person on social media quit their jobs…

The US Powerball just broke into “world record” territory. This coming Wednesday, the jackpot starts at a whopping 1.3B, more than the GDP of most of the islands in the Caribbean. This past Saturday, we had a 900M drawing and social media was abuzz with Powerball fever as each person proclaimed him/herself the winner. No one won, but the power of hope was rather amazing to watch.

People were choosing Powerball tickets over gas money. Others were announcing their plans…“all of my friends get 1M.” Everyone had visions of houses, private planes, exotic cars, yachts and lush living on their minds. Hope is a powerful thing.

For some the lotto is paying for a dream but many are afraid to put in the work and take the chances to actually live the dream. For others it’s not that deep. One thing that was apparent, everyone who played had plans with what to do with all that money…

So what were the odds of these dreams coming to fruition? Many people don’t like to know or think about the odds but I’m not built like that, so here is how the situation shakes out on paper:

There are 175.2 million unique number combinations. The Powerball ticket is $2. With a 1.3B jackpot, the “one-time” payment is .77% or 1.001B. Taxes are 47% so you are left with 470.047 million dollars.

I purchased a $20 block of tickets, and felt my mind wander to “what if?” What if I won? It was at this moment that I realized how lucky I am and learned a little about myself.

My fantasies were boring…a safe house with a beautiful view and the financial security to grow my business. I fantasized about being able to reward my business partners for their hard work/loyalty and hire new brilliant minds to start collaborating on some ideas I can’t wait to work on. I thought about rescuing dogs. I fantasized about paying back friends’ mothers who fed me as a child. I smiled about assisting the good people who have done right by me over the years and impacting lives in a positive way for those I care about.

Other friends, I would get rip roaring drunk if that’s their thing…to each their own and who am I to judge?

Business…family…friends…shelter…charity…and that’s it. What the hell would I do with a 300K car? That’s not my style - too much attention. Expensive clothes? Not my style…I get sick if I spend over $60 on a pair of shoes. As far as clothes go, I would definitely design and manufacture my own clothing because I could wear what I want to wear and not pay to wear someone else’s logo. Watches? My phone already has one. Plane? I don’t travel that much. Boat? Maybe I would purchase a used boat and hire a boat person to do all the annoying work. Partying? I’m almost 42, those days are long since over. Women? My wife is flawless…the ones that pop up after $470M magically appears won’t be - that I can assure you.

Then it occurred to me, the reason I’m happy all the time is that money is not my god and never has been. On an even deeper level, I’m living the life I chose to live and would not need to change women, clothes, friends or careers in search of happiness. How many can say that?

I saw some people who are genuinely happy in their lives on social media, but not enough. Why aren’t people choosing to live the life they want to live? Is money really that important?

I can read the minds of some on here now calling “bullshit” on this entire blog post. Even some people who have known me for years might not believe what was written here…except about the clothes and the house with a view. I can hear it now, “if you don’t care about money, why did you start a software company in an industry with multi-million dollar valuations?”

That is a great question…and a fair question.

So why did I start a software company? Why did I take years off of making money for a shot at building something of tremendous value? Why am I playing in a world of billion dollar dreams that have actually come true for some?

Mark Cuban would throw me out for this answer, but it has NEVER been about the money…it is about quality of life, a desire to “create,” passion, the feeling only “accomplishment” can give a person AND finally money (which could also be called “security.”) Finally it’s about being independent, and not having to answer to someone who might not think the way I do (most people). It’s a feeling of empowerment and freedom I lust for…nothing a material asset could ever give me.

So as the lottery moves to 1.3B+ and you pick up your tickets and dream you dreams, as yourself…”am I happy?”

If your dream involves leaving your significant other, you don’t need money to do that! Just do it. If your dreams involve leaving your job, why are you there in the first place? What would you want to do? Why are you not doing it?

So you think you want to win 1.3B? If you’re completely unhappy with your current life, you’ll be completely unhappy with the “new you” too. Let the thought of winning the lottery guide you. You don’t have to get the lucky numbers to win the lottery. If you’re happy now with the way your life is and wouldn’t require dramatic change, I have news for you…you already won.


Eric Beans is CEO of Texting Base, Inc., out of Orlando, Florida. Texting Base is a ”SMS Marketing Automation Platform” which allows entities to personalize group text messages.

Prior to Texting Base, Eric was the first US employee of TechSpan which became Headstrong. Headstrong sold for $550M to GenPact.

With a group of partners in 2005, Eric started Premier Mortgage Capital, Inc., a nationwide state charted Mortgage Company that grew to over 2B/Year in originations.

Eric is the author of "Changing The World Through Texting Software" and writes the entrepreneur section of "LA Style Magazine." Eric is an inventor, investor, and longtime entrepreneur.

Texting Base does not offer legal advice-please consult an attorney before starting to text for business purposes.

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