The Motley Fool

Forget tonight’s EuroMillions jackpot result. Here’s an easier way to make a fortune

The EuroMillions jackpot tonight is a whopping £131m – one of the biggest prizes in the history of the game. That means that someone could potentially walk away with an extraordinary amount of money. Just imagine what you could do with that kind of cash… your own yacht, a luxury house in the Caribbean, a Ferrari – you could literally have it all! There’s no doubt that £131m is a game-changer. Time to rush out and buy a ticket for tonight’s draw then?

Check the odds

Personally, I’m not convinced that buying a EuroMillions ticket is the best way to spend your money. This is due to the fact that the odds of winning the jackpot are insanely low. To win, you need to match five numbers and get two lucky stars. According to its website, the odds of this are 1 in 139,838,160.

Now look, the human brain is not wired to process calculations like that. Those kinds of odds mean very little to most people. But to put those numbers into context, the population of the UK, France, and Portugal combined is around 140m. That means that if you lined everyone in these three countries up and handed them a EuroMillions ticket, only one person is winning the jackpot. I don’t know about you, but those odds don’t sound great to me.

A proven way to make life-changing wealth

In my view, there’s a much easier way to make life-changing wealth and that’s the stock market. Sure, the stock market gets a bad reputation at times, because people sometimes lose money in the short term. Yet over the long term, the stock market has proven to be an extremely reliable wealth-generating machine and, on average, produced returns of around 7-10% per year for investors. As such, with a long-term investment strategy, it’s possible to turn even just a little bit of money into a huge sum.

Turning £5,000 into a million

Consider an investor who invests £5,000 per year (less than £100 per week) into stocks every year. Assuming an average return of 8.5% on their money, the investor’s portfolio would grow to over a million after 35 years. This means that if they started investing at 30, they could build up a portfolio of over a million by age 65.

Sure, £1m is not £131m. Yet for most people, it’s still a life-changing amount of money. You could most likely live a very comfortable lifestyle in retirement, travel frequently, and probably even leave some money for the next generation.

Ultimately, given the choice between playing EuroMillions, which offers very, very low odds of winning, and investing in stocks for the long term, which is a proven way of generating wealth, the choice is pretty easy to make, in my view.

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