I challenge anyone who’s read the latest news about National Lottery not to be even a little green with envy.
Lottery operator Camelot has been making millionaires for the best part of 25 years, but even by its usual standards, the latest EuroMillions win is enough to take the breath away. Apparently the latest winner scooped a cool £123,458,008 on 12 June by correctly guessing seven numbers, making it the third biggest win by a British player on record.
Before I lose you in a dreamlike fog of expensive holidays, fast cars and big houses though, I’d like to bring you back down to Earth with a few choice statistics. Sorry.
The fact is that regular betting on the National Lottery is something of a fool’s errand. Let’s take that EuroMillions game, for example. The chances of securing the top prize by successfully selecting five regular numbers and two ‘star’ numbers sit at a staggering one in 139,838,160.
You’d be much better off sticking with the domestic Lotto game then. The possibility of scooping the jackpot by correctly guessing the six numbers sits at a much-improved one in 45,057,474.
Down the drain
I jest, of course. Despite those better odds there remains more chance of being crushed by a meteorite (one in around 1.6m, while you ask) or getting a cabinet job in Her Majesty’s government (roughly one in 3.1m).
It’s clear most regular players of the lottery are simply throwing their money down the toilet. Someone who spends £10 on each lottery draw each week (that’s two Lotto draws and two EuroMillions draws) will likely be wasting on average £173.33 a month, give or take the occasional token win for securing a few numbers. Wouldn’t you be better off putting this money to work with some choice FTSE 100 dividend stocks instead?
12% dividend yields
There’s no such thing as a sure thing with share investing. But there’s plenty of blue-chips that look poised to pay some big, big rewards both now and in the future.
Take Persimmon for instance, a share which has already generated a colossal total shareholder return of 115% over the past five years.
The ripping home price growth of previous years may have stalled because of Brexit, but the size of the country’s housing shortage — and thus the huge length of time it will take to solve — means that the strong demand seen by builders like Persimmon appears here to stay.
City analysts believe so too, an anticipated 3% bottom-line rise in 2019 at Persimmon supporting predictions of another big dividend (the yield currently sits at an enormous 12%).
Truth be told, there’s swathes of great Footsie shares boasting big yields (from GlaxoSmithKline’s 5%, and Legal & General’s 6.6%, to ITV’s 7.8%) that I would happily buy today. My advice? Rip up your lottery slip and take some time to do a little stocks research instead. It could be the best decision you ever make.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended GlaxoSmithKline. The Motley Fool UK has recommended ITV. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.