Don’t Buy Powerball Tickets. Instead, Here’s How to Use That Cash to Make More Money

winning the lottery
Aaron Amat under Creative Commons
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You know the odds are slimmer than being struck by lightning. Twice.

But you just can’t resist buying a ticket or two. Or five. Because after all, you can’t win if you don’t play.

Listen: I get it.

Even though I knew it was a waste of money, I spent $20 — $22.25, to be exact, after the cash-only gas station ATM fees — on Powerball tickets. Once the jackpot crossed the $1 billion threshold, I knew I would kick myself if I didn’t at least try.

A Guaranteed Way to Win the Lottery: Don’t Play

With mind-bogglingly slim odds, whatever money you throw at the lottery — be it $2 or $2,000 — is almost definitely a waste.

Instead, what if you invested that cash in a guaranteed way to make money?

Hey, it probably won’t pay out $1.4 billion — but I’d rather have a real $100 than an imaginary $1 billion any day.

Here are some better ways to make money with the cash you’re tempted to blow on Powerball tickets.

$2 — One Entry

Take that $2 and spend it on some chocolate mints to lay on the pillows in your spare room. Then, open your house to guests using platforms like AirBnB or Homestay.

Don’t have a spare bed? If you’ve got a way with words, buy yourself a cup of coffee and sit down to do some freelance writing for blogs that pay for guest posts.

If you’re not much of a writer, you could sip while you get rewarded for searching the internet, watching videos on Swagbucks, filling out online surveys, or cleaning up Google’s mess.

$10 — Five Entries

With $10, you could buy three cases of water to sell for $1 per bottle at a busy event.

Heck, on Jan. 13, there might be a hot, thirsty line of last-minute lottery ticket purchasers at the convenience store — though the shop owner might not be thrilled with your business if he’s selling bottled water, too.

$20 — 10 Entries

Got $20 in your pocket?

Hit your local thrift shop or flea market and find some awesome things to dust off, clean up and resell for a higher price.

$50 — 25 Entries

$50 is a pretty penny to spend on an idle daydream.

Instead, invest the money in learning a skill to jump-start your new career on a platform like Udemy.

Or make like this woman and start a whole business!

Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She also writes other stuff, like wine reviews and poems.