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A Fastlane Secret You Can Learn from the Mega-Millions Lottery

by MJ DeMarco · 21 comments

I have a confession.

Today, I bought a lottery ticket.

The MegaMillions jackpot is now over $500 million.

Some of you might be shocked that I wasted time and money on a ticket, and for good reason.

However, my toe-dip into Sidewalkerland was well justified.

Here is why I bought the ticket…

I wanted to buy the ticket to see how I felt by buying it.

In other words, it was just a psychological experiment.

A gentleman posted this on my Facebook wall:

Tired of hearing about the Mega Millions BS. I’ll keep my money and put it toward something more useful. Would you agree it’s a tax on the poor and those who suck at math.

While I agree with his assessment, the lottery is more about HOPE and DREAM RESURRECTION than anything else.  When people buy a ticket, they suddenly feel hope, and a sense that their craziest dreams can possibly come true.

You see, after I purchased my ticket I was welcomed by a tiny, tickling sensation that I could only identify as HOPE.   As I gazed at the ticket (I only pissed away 1 buck) I thought, “Wow, this little piece of paper could be worth $500 million!”


Now ask yourself this:  If the grand-prize payoff was $10,000, would people be interested? Would people be rushing to the 7-Eleven to buy tickets?

Absolutely not.

The “pay-off” is NOT life-changing.

Now correlate this with Fastlane strategy.

What is the “pay-off” of your business?  If the best thing EVER could happen to your business, what’s the “payoff?”

$10,000 or $10,000,000?  Is it life-changing?  Impactual?

Millions of people own businesses where the “payoff” isn’t impacting.  It isn’t life changing.   The payoff is simply a means to paying bills and getting by.

I bring this up because the results of my impromptu, psychological experiment was interesting:  The sensation I experienced AFTER buying the lottery ticket was really no different than the omnipresent feeling I carry with me every single day by being the owner of a Fastlane business.   With continued hard-work, persistence, and patience, a big “life changing” payoff could be around the corner.

The bottomline?  Anytime you engage in a business that fits within the Fastlane metrics (5 Commandments) you should also experience the same sensation as that lottery ticket — a feeling of hope and a feeling that your dream is alive — except instead of carrying that feeling for 24 hours, you can have it for years.  And here’s the hook: If your dream is alive, then guess what, you’re already living the dream.

For some people, the lottery is a temporary spark that suddenly awakens dreams for a temporary 24 hours, or however long until the drawing.  For the traveling Fastlaner, that sensation is something we carry with us everyday.

Good luck!


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Comment Guidelines: We all have opinions and I'm cool with ya disagreeing with me however anonymous comments, stupid comments, trolling, hating, and other uncivil comments will be deleted.

  • Carrie Weber

    good stuff mj!

    • MJ DeMarco

      Good luck Carrie!

  • Pingback: A Fastlane Secret Direct from the Mega Millions Lottery!()

  • James William Hagarty

    nice post MJ! thanks as always

  • Leonardo Osorio

    You are a genius MJ!

  • Liz See

    Love that ‘hook’ and so true….great article MJ.

  • Jose Roig

    Excellent, thanks.

  • Christopher Castellano

    Awesome writing in MJ, love it. 

  • Litheinspire

    meh you’re a sucker  enjoy your dollar well wasted

  • Slava Rybalka

    MJ, I think it was still worth buying just 1 lottery ticket in that particular case, versus not buying a ticket at all. 0.00001% chance is better than 0% chance. What do you think?

  • Emo6126

    Love this. Really hit home. All my dreams culminated for that short period with lots of hope. I have even had that same feeling from a business idea. Never thought to keep that feeling with me all the time

  • Adiakritos

    Thanks. this reminds me of how powerful it can be to put yourself in the position of your own clients and experience their experience to get the real essence of the product. Like car makers who didn’t realize that making a car more affordable didn’t just mean flashiness or coolness to young people but FREEDOM. In this case it’s hope. Thats awesome.

  • Gmellado60

    Did you find anything wrong ( in your fellings ) in having 2 hopes at the same time. I mean the hope ( or reality ) of fastlane bussines as the one you have and the ( remote ) hope to win the mega million lottery ? Although, I have my own oppinion, I´m picking on yours. Please comment.

    • MJ DeMarco

       My point is the feeling is identical but one is fleeting (and stronger) while the other is persistent to the point of normal.  I felt nothing wrong with it as I recognized one was artificial, and the other, real.

      • Gmellado60

        Thanks for your comment. And I agree with it, but, this is a little bit the same battle between “beting” or aiming for and EVENT or aiming for a PROCESS discribed in your book and as long you or me have enough money to go for both hopes or both targets, there is nothing wrong to buy every once in a while a ticket, acknowlodging or recognizing the artificial hope and the real hope of a hard working process. This little feeling battle ( and Event vs a Process ) is out there for every reader as well.



  • Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2

    Love the comparison between half-hearted people who hope something’s gonna happen if they buy a ticket and the average business owner.

    Most business owners “hope” that their business makes them just enough money to stay afloat. Hope isn’t a strategy. They hope the “Normal” and “Average” way of doing business will magically sprout some profit. These are the same people operating under the delusion of, “If we have a lot of gross, there’s gotta be some net around here somewhere.”  Tis’ ain’t necessarily so.

    Hoping is what leads people to make all kinds of wrong decisions about advertising, marketing, sales, systems, and any and everything to do with running a business.

    Profitable business owners don’t hope for shit. They seek out and test the hell out of proven concepts and they keep doing what works and keep testing new breakthrough concepts against what’s currently working.  Profitable business owners are always looking for the edge over their competition because they embrace the reality of the quote that says, “You are not paranoid if they are out to get you.”

    Thanks MJ for doling out these reality checks – the kind of checks that never bounce!

    • MJ DeMarco

       Thanks for stopping by and the “take”. =)

  • Anonymous

    I need to read your book again.

  • Samuel Ong

    Nice article!

  • Crshieh

    I spent 100 bucks on the mega millions that time.  The only reason was because, based on my analysis, it was the ONLY TIME IN HISTORY that the EV of the mega millions was positive (accounting for after tax, there were many times the EV was positive from odds perspective, but negative after tax).   However, my assumption was that there would be one winner.  Which proved to be wrong, there were 3. 

  • Nick

    I buy a ticket or two every time the lottery goes over 100M. Part of the reason is what you describe…i.e. it’s worth 2 bucks to fantasize for a couple of minutes on what one could do with the winnings.
    The other part is in defiance of the people saying it’s not worth it. Try telling that to someone who won. LOL They spent a dollar and won 200 something million…nice ROI. I think the problem with buying tickets is when you do it with money you can’t afford and you’re counting on the winnings to fund your retirement…do that, and you are in trouble.

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