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Iowa Powerball winner says lottery should be played ‘for fun,’ not as a way to fix your life

Iowa Powerball winner says lottery should be played ‘for fun,’ not as a way to fix your life
The Mega Millions lottery prize has climbed to an estimated $1.35 billion.  If there’s a winner after Friday night’s big drawing, that individual or group will receive the second-biggest jackpot in Mega Millions history. While playing the lottery can be fun and exciting, past lottery winners and mental health experts say it’s important to keep the activity just that — fun — and not as a potential windfall that people begin to plan a future around. HUGE TAX ON MEGA MILLIONS $1 BILLION JACKPOT CAUSES OUTCRY ON SOCIAL MEDIA: ‘CONGRATS TO THE IRS’ “Playing the lottery should be fun rather than stressful,” Tim Schultz, a past Iowa lottery winner who claimed a multimillion-dollar prize, told Fox News Digital by email.  Schultz won $28 million in 1999 when he played the Iowa Powerball. He was working at an Iowa gas station back then, and sold the winning ticket to himself, as FOX Business reported earlier. Today, Schultz is a podcast host and runs a popular YouTube channel. He interviews other lottery winners who share their experiences after they strike it rich (see one of Schultz’s recent videos below). “You should only play if you can afford to lose the cost of the ticket. You don’t want to put yourself at financial risk by playing,” Schultz said. Friday night’s jackpot would also be the fourth-largest prize in U.S. lottery history.  If a winner takes the cash option instead of an annual annuity, that person would receive an estimated $707.9 million, FOX Business reported. Playing the lottery should only be done “responsibly,” Schultz said. MEGA-MILLIONS $1.28 B JACKPOT LURES PLAYERS TO THE ‘LUCKIEST’ 7-ELEVEN “The truth is that it only takes one ticket for a chance to win,” he said.  “They say that winning the lottery is like being struck by lightning. Well, it only takes one ticket to enter this storm.” “The odds do not significantly increase by purchasing tons of tickets,” Schultz also said. He continued, “There is a reason these jackpots are getting so high. If you cannot afford to lose two dollars or however much it costs to play, then please don’t play!” Schultz said playing the lottery with the right mindset can be “fun.” “By purchasing a ticket, you are purchasing the right to dream about what you will do if you win. And it is possible — someone will eventually win,” he said. Schultz said he had a “vivid dream” about winning the lottery “a few months prior to it happening in real life.” KENTUCKY WOMAN WINS $175,000 LOTTERY JACKPOT FROM COMPANY’S HOLIDAY PARTY WHITE ELEPHANT GIFT EXCHANGE He also said, “It inspired me to start playing. Some people believe that’s a coincidence. Regardless, I only spent what I could afford on it and had fun.” Schultz continued, “I joked with friends that it was going to happen. Needless to say, it was very surreal when it did.” The game’s top prize sits at over $1 billion because no one has won the Mega Millions jackpot since October — causing the prize to increase across 25 drawings, according to multiple outlets. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER One Vermont psychologist said that people play the lottery with “a fantasy” in mind about how their life could change with a huge win. “Fantasy can be healthy as an escape,” said Dr. David Helfand of St. Johnsbury, Vermont. “But it can also start to cause issues when people live in their fantasy, despite their reality,” he continued. Helfand, who shares tips on mental health on his website,, also said, “For example, if you aren’t putting your full effort into your job in hopes you’ll just win the lottery, that is likely going to cause more harm than good.”
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