Lottery fever is sweeping the country (again) to the tune of more than half a billion dollars. And who hasn’t daydreamed about what they’d do if they found themselves holding the winning ticket – frosty mai tai on the beach, anyone? And yes, although we begrudgingly admit that the chances of that actually happening are about one in a gazillion, it got us thinking about smaller jackpots – the more feasible kind you win on a game show or the big-ticket item you snag with the lucky raffle ticket at the kids’ school fair. Those are all nice consolation wins, right?
Well, maybe not. Think about it. It seems like you hit the jackpot, but really, are these free prizes actually free?
A spin of a wheel, a lucky guess or a drawing from a hat can make a person the proud owner of something they never dreamed of being able to afford. But Frugillionaire explains that even with the purchase price covered, these gifts can still cost the recipient some major moola. The cost to run and maintain a new boat, car, or even the cost to install new kitchen appliances can make some prizes a little less desirable. And any added prestige or pleasure a new McMansion or a lottery hit might actually get outweighed by not-so-lucky things like higher taxes, maintenance expenses and general headaches.
Moral of the story? Scoring some free loot may mean fees to boot.
We admit that it’d be pretty sweet to win gas or groceries for a year or maybe a contest that pays your bills for a few months. But most “free” things in life probably aren’t.
So tell us Saver, what’s the coolest thing you’ve ever won, only to find out that it’s still costing you today?