I never played the lottery

I never played the lottery and still won…

Today I was on my jogging round in the early morning and towards the end passing the elementary school. Then three school girls on their way to their morning classes looked at me, and as I passed them, I heard one of them say:


The others giggled, “no, forty-eight!”

No idea what it was about. Maybe they had guessed my age…
… and made me much younger. Or maybe it was a completely different game.

In any case, it reminded me of a conversation I had with my dad many years ago on my 50th birthday. My dad plays the lottery. Every week. 6 out of 49. And on the betting slip are also the numbers of his children’s birthdays and their respective ages.

“What are you typing for me now?” I asked him. After all, 49 is the last possible number on the ticket.

“You’ll always be 49 years old for me,” was his reply.

“Okay, and what if my younger sister reaches that age in two years?”

“She will always be 48 years old for me.”

There we have it. The number combination of the students mentioned above. 49, 48.

Why did I, unlike my father, never play the lottery?

Quite simply, I am a pragmatic realist and strongly analytical. With a probability of 1:140 million for the main prize, it becomes arbitrarily improbable. So the effort for this small chance of “financial happiness” is not worth it.

For me, I turned the thought around. What can happen with a probability of 1 in 140 million. Good or bad.

My logic: As long as I don’t get hit by lightning, winning the lottery doesn’t matter to me. So I don’t want to challenge luck and prefer to concentrate on what I can do for my happiness by myself.

And how do I measure it?

In my journal, I write down my little moments of happiness from time to time and have noticed that there are many, no, really a lot of them. And that’s indeed worth more to me than winning the lottery.

➡️ And you? What does happiness mean to you and how are you the master of your happiness?

I’m Bernd Scharbert and I support leaders with my experiential knowledge after more than 30 years of leadership experience in the corporate world. Especially in the question of how to reconcile family, career and life. If you are interested, please feel free to follow me at LinkedIn, #prepare4landing or contact me directly.

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