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A few weeks ago there was big media hype about a record-breaking Powerball set to take place.

This got a lot of attention from those who regularly ‘invest’ in a weekly ticket however also got a lot of attention from those who don’t.

A friend of mine approached me and asked if I was interested in joining him and 8 others into a syndicate to purchase some tickets – we would share in 10 equal units if successful. The investment was $50 per member.

Now buying lottery tickets is something I don’t normally do: I personally consider it gambling and know the odds are stacked well and truly against you.

I do however like to have a bit of fun every now and then – like putting a few dollars on a racehorse for the Melbourne Cup show interest in the ‘Race that stops a nation’.

So I accepted the invitation and excitedly awaited the Powerball draw.

Funnily enough I actually forgot about it the night it occurred and the next morning awoke to a text from my friend (the organiser), saying:

“We WON!”

It is amazing the thoughts that run through your mind in a split second:

OMG I am going to be able to finally buy that island I have always wanted.”

“I will solve the hunger issues of Africa.”

But it was only a fleeting moment of these thoughts. Reality swiftly kicked back in as the second text which followed in quick succession with:

“…$15 each…please send your bank account details so I can transfer the winnings.”

I laughed and was actually surprised as I really wasn’t expecting anything at all. I had mentally kissed that $50 goodbye.

But this got me thinking of all of the people that spend their hard-earned money, week in week out, in the hope they will win big and change their lives.

So out of interest, I looked into the odds of winning.

While doing so, I realised there are a lot of different lotteries to choose from – you can enter one of them almost every day of the week (minus Friday and Sunday) in Australia. Not to mention the countless number internationally.

Here are the odds for winning Powerball – taken from the official Lottoland website:

Australian Powerball Prize Division
Prize Odds
Division 1 – 1 : 76,676,600
Division 2 – 1 : 4,040,400
Division 3 – 1 : 376,312
Division 4 – 1 : 19,806
Division 5 – 1 : 9,123
Division 6 – 1 : 641
Division 7 – 1 : 480
Division 8 – 1 : 110

Yes, you are reading it correctly. You have a 1 in 76,676,600 chance of winning the big prize. Even to have the chance of sharing in the division 8 pool is a 1 in 110 chance.

These odds are insane.

As it turns out, there was a winner on that jackpot night. One lucky singular winner.

Now here is the interesting thing:

When the Lotto people got in touch to inform the lady of her windfall, she initially thought they said she had won $107,000. She was very excited, as you would be.

I think anyone would be over the moon with that result.

She nearly fell off her chair when they clarified the true amount she had won was $107,000,000. Yet her reaction to the lesser amount was still amazing.

This got me thinking of what I have won over my lifetime of which initially paled into insignificance – until I remembered the time when I sold my first ever investment property (which was a long time ago now).

It was the same feeling as winning the lotto.

After my total investment was taken from my total profit, I had made a lump sum of about $70,000.

How many lotto players can claim that?

The crazy thing is, I know of a number of people that spend $25 or more a week on lotto tickets and they don’t have an investment property.

I can tell you one thing is for sure:

Your odds of ‘winning’ a profit through strategic property investing are far greater than winning at lotto.

So if you want to have that winning feeling, have a look at where your weekly investment is going.

Nick Holden

Nick Holden is the Founder of Simple Property Investment and an insured, qualified Property Investment Advisor under the ASPIRE Network industry body. He is a Licensed Real Estate Agent, holds a Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning) and Cert IV Financial Services (Finance and Mortgage Broking). As there is no 'one size fits all' with property investment, he is on a mission to help ordinary Australians create wealth for their futures with personalised strategies and advice.