This morning as I left for work, my wife said, “Maybe we should buy a lottery ticket? It’s up to $640 million.” We don’t buy lottery tickets, but that’s a lot of cheddar. You could change a lot of lives with that cheddar. But, in my heart, I have no desire to win that cheddar. The reason is pretty simple and a little selfish: I love the hustle too much. I also love eating and saying cheddar.
Since starting 5+8 in 2013, nothing has been easy. We have not had a meteoric rise, a big investor, or won any prestigious awards. It has been a grind every day, and I just don’t know what my life would be without it. Our team has grown and shrunk. Our profits have soared and stalled. Our clients have multiplied and disappeared. This business is the hardest and most fun thing I have ever done. I am fairly confident that winning the lottery would be the Trojan horse that showed up to spoil the party.
Winning the lottery is a cheat code to a game I am enjoying too much. Once I have infinite lives, what’s the point of playing? That’s why I sincerely pity anyone with a big-ass trust fund. If there’s no struggle, where’s the fun in succeeding? If that works for you, go about your business and don’t mind me, but also, no thank you. Cliché or not, you only get one shot at this game, and I plan on playing the hell out of it.
Of course, I could give it away to all to our deserving non-profits (shout out to The Way Home Adoption) who could do wonderful work with it. But that’s not the point of this hypothetical argument. I know my pragmatic pals are collectively rolling their eyes as the word “bullshit“ dances in their brains. But I am dead serious.
For the last two years, I have been telling my wife, my buddies, and myself that I am going to buy some new, bigger tires for my old 4Runner. I think they’ll look cool and give the old girl some new life. I’ll do it “when I have the money,” I say. But, secretly, I hope I never get new tires. Because the tires are part of the game I am playing with myself. The lottery means game over. I don’t want that. I’d miss the game I love, the game I can’t completely win, and a game I never want to stop playing.
However, if I did win the lottery, I’d take it. I mean, I’m not a dumbass.