The Rewards of Hard Work vs Winning the Lottery | Allan Kehler

We live in a society where we are always ready for the reward, but we are rarely ready for the work.

Think about your first job. Remember when you received that first cheque, and you had the freedom to spend it as you saw fit?

Envision a teenager who balanced school with their first part-time job at a fast food restaurant. After more than two years, they were finally able to save enough money to purchase their first vehicle. Sure, the vehicle was close to 15 years old and was peppered with rust spots. However, this was their first car and they loved it.


Because they knew exactly what it took for them to get that car in the first place.

Now, think about a teenager who received the keys to a brand new car from their parents. This adolescent never had to flip any burgers, mop any floors, or even lift a finger to receive their first car. The internal value of this vehicle simply cannot be compared to the other teenager who saved up their hard-earned cash from their first job.

“Lucky” is a documentary about the American lottery, and it follows some of the industry’s biggest winners. Not surprisingly, the majority of the individuals drastically changed their lifestyles following their sudden financial wealth. While some bought the private jets and fast cars, others bought mansions and large estates.

Meanwhile, one middle-aged man went against the grain. Six months after winning the lottery he made two purchases: diamond earrings for his wife and a modest Volvo. When questioned about his actions, he explained that when you are not wealthy, you can afford all of these fantasies about what you will do if you win the lottery. However, after winning he found that the desires for all of those things quickly disappeared. He no longer wanted the Lamborghini. This man realized very quickly that he enjoyed the possessions that he worked for the most. Not only did he work to own his house, but he also had no desire to move from the place where his kids grew up.

Possessions handed to us on a platter do not contain the same value

as something that was obtained through blood, sweat and tears.

I hear a lot of adults say, “Kids are so lazy today and just don’t know how to work hard.” As my friend Darci Lang says, “Who’s teaching them?”

What are we teaching the younger generation when countless adults are chasing some far-fetched fantasy like winning the lottery, or trying to take the short cuts to make a quick buck.

Sadly, 1 in 5 Americans believe that their best chance of getting rich is through winning the lottery, not through hard work. As indicated by the New York Times today, the real odds of winning the Powerball Lottery are one in 292.2 million. Meanwhile the odds of being struck by lightning is one in 1.19 million.

You do the math.

As adults, we need to be the role models. Our children deserve the proper tools so that they can experience success while also being grateful for what they have earned in life.

“What’s stronger than a broken man who has the courage to rebuild himself? It’s time to redefine what it means to be strong.”

- Allan Kehler