Last night's historic $1.5 Billion jackpot didn't net me much. Out of the $20 I spent on tickets, only one of them won anything for me and that was a measly $4. So, I actually lost $16. I didn't feel like much of a winner this morning as I went about my normal routine and trudged to work like usual.
But the Powerball lottery got me thinking.
Yes, I am capable of that sometimes.
I actually have won the lottery. Multiple times, in fact. Just because these lotteries didn't make me rich beyond my wildest dreams doesn't mean I should discount them or the impact they've had on my life.
I was born in America. I could've been born to a family that lived in a hut in Africa, but I was born in the good ol USA instead. Not to sound racist, but I was also born to a white family and avoided a lot more trouble down the road. (If my news reading is accurate, anyways.)
I was born into a family where I was loved. Even though my parents got divorced when I was two and we became super poor, I was still loved and well cared for. My mom made a lot of sacrifices for us girls, and we appreciate every single one of them. She loved us enough to care about our lives and help us understand wrong from right. Usually with a wooden spoon!
My mom got remarried to my stepdad. He took us out of the ghetto and into one of the best towns in our state. We instantly went from poor to lower middle class, which is a HUGE socioeconomic jump. I don't think we would've been able to get that far ahead in life without him. Because of him, I went to the best school district in the state and got an amazing education. I also got to participate in far more extra curricular activities- Girl Scouts, sports and clubs through school.
Because I was so active in extracurriculars, I had a top-notch application package to submit to my potential university. Not only did I get early admission, I also received a full ride scholarship for academics. The only reason I got the scholarship was because someone else turned it down to go to another school. Not having to pay for school was huge. Instead of all my extra money going towards paying off student loans, I was able to start saving and investing it right off the bat, which gives me an incredible jump over most of my peers. Most of my friends can barely afford to move out of their parents' houses and live with a roommate, whereas I'm gearing up to purchase a house.
The only reason I've been able to save like this is because of the excellent job I landed while still in college. The summer before my last semester of college I interned with a company. I worked my butt off and was lucky enough to receive an offer for full-time employment when I graduated. (That was 2 years and 1 day ago, by the way. Time flies when every day looks the same!) This job paid me more than I ever thought I'd make- heck, I made more in my first year than my stepdad earned the last year of his career. It's been instrumental to my FI plans, and I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work here. Even if I may forget that and complain about how much I hate my job occasionally.
Sometimes I think we all get a little bit too hung up on all the negative things in our life. I know I'm definitely guilty.
“Ugh I didn't win the Powerball jackpot.”
“Ugh my car needs new tires.”
“Ugh the store was out of my favorite kind of cereal.”
When really, we just need to appreciate all that life has given us thus far.
“Hey I won $4 last night!”
“My car runs smoothly, gets good mileage, and I had a lot of fun putting those miles on the tires.”
“I'm lucky I live in America where there's a whole aisle devoted to breakfast foods.”
What lotteries have you won in the past?