Finns lose a little more than 55 euros a month to gambling, i.e. about 660 euros a year. Most of this pot (approx. 1.8 billion euros) goes to Veikkaus’ various games, from Lotto to Keno and Toto.

There are about three million gamblers in Finland, and about 4.5 million Finns over the age of 18. So 66% of all Finns are gamblers! When you think about how much money the average Finn loses a year gambling and how common a phenomenon it is, it should wake you up. For comparison, about one million Finnish adults invest – only 22% of adults!

How did this division come about and how can we consider it normal and acceptable? That and the best way to reach millionaire status today.

Finns are culturally gamblers, not owners

It already comes in our mother’s milk. Literally. It is a lottery win to be born in Finland.

We’ve all heard this one. And even though playing the lottery is stupid, I think this saying holds true regardless. Finland is one of the most prosperous, equal and developed countries in the world by almost every metric. Each of us is lucky to have received the food that Finland has given us and it is our responsibility what we decide to do with it.

Unfortunately, the next thing we hear is not “save and invest and start getting rich”. Instead, we hear from a young age that Finns always win. This familiar slogan belongs to the beloved Finnish gambling monopoly Veikkaus, which is one of the best Finnish organizations to prevent Finns from getting rich and instead keep Finns dreaming of getting rich.

I have already written on the subject once, so let’s quickly review the facts and the damage caused by the Finnish gambling culture.

1. Here’s the point, according to the already infamous Danske Bank study, 31% of Finns consider winning the lottery an acceptable way to get rich, while, for example, regular investments of less than 500 euros are considered an acceptable way to get rich by only 11% of Finns.

2. Finns play Veikkaus games for 13 billion euros a year. And on top of that, the money amounts of all international gambling sites.

3. 22% of Finns own stocks vs. only 22% of Swedes own a stock savings account and 80% invest in mutual funds.

4. If you follow the attitude of the deep ranks of the people towards investing from the comment section of the tabloids or Helsingin Sanomat, it is still very negative and the perception of inherited investments and the upper classism and privilege of investing is still too strong.

The Finnish welfare society is the result of globally very left-wing political thinking (for us Finns, however, quite normal) and practically the entire 20th century was a confrontation between the bourgeois on the right (owner) and the worker (employee) on the left. Culture doesn’t change quickly, so many of us still have, through our parents and grandparents, a world of thought about this past world, which is based on this completely absurd juxtaposition that hasn’t existed for decades anywhere but in people’s brains.

Investing and owning belongs to everyone – regardless of social class. And thanks to technology and the constantly equalizing world, it is possible for each of us with infinite ease and cheapness. So if you really want to become a millionaire, you have to start investing, as I will tell you next.

Do you want to be a millionaire? Start investing

The easiest way to become a millionaire is not playing the lottery. Here are a few probabilities of main wins that can reach a million.

Probability of winning the lottery: 0.000000066%
Eurojackpot winning probability: 0.000000015%

If the probabilities seem impossibly small or impossible to fathom, that’s for a good reason – and they are. If you put the probabilities into perspective, your probability of dying from lightning in Finland is approx. 0.000012%. So it is more likely that you will be killed by lightning than that you will win the lottery. So why do you dream of winning the lottery, but you are not afraid of being struck by lightning?

Even if we go into the dark now, there is still light at the end of the tunnel for each of us. Namely, each of us has a significantly more likely way to become wealthy.

You can use, for example, this interest rate calculator to see how quickly you could become a millionaire with your savings. If you take, for example, the 500€/month savings amount mentioned by Danske Bank (which people do not consider as an acceptable savings amount for getting rich) and you start investing from zero euros, it will take you approx. 35 years to reach millionaire status. This is a long time, but it is just that – time.

It is very likely that you will be able to reach the status much faster at that rate, if the stock market produces more than the classic 7% per year or if you already have ready-made investments or ownership (e.g. a home). It may also be that you will be able to save more per month, in which case the goal will be met faster, but in any case, it requires self-discipline and perseverance – strength of mind.

It is primarily a matter of our lack of patience. Many of us dream of becoming a millionaire for no reason. 40% of all Finns play the lottery every week. How many of them really have any idea what they would do after getting rich? When you look at how many problems winning the lottery causes people according to research, I dare say that almost no one does.

It is often said that if all the people in the world received a million today (and it did not cause hyperinflation), the world with its inequalities would surprisingly quickly look the same as it does today. I strongly believe this myself. Getting rich suddenly can be a positive shock, but it’s a shock nonetheless and can lead to anything from depression to very bad life decisions.

In everything in life, we dream of achieving things quickly, even if it is not good in the end. Simplicity is attractive, even if getting things too easily creates more problems in our lives than solutions. Persistence means that you have to deal with the matter a lot before you get it, which evens out the emotional reaction. We are unknowingly quite self-destructive because we dream of getting rich, even though getting rich almost always leads to a million personal problems.

Investing is always worth it – whether you want to be a millionaire or not. Finally, what’s the worst-case scenario when you start saving and investing in an index fund with, say, the money you used to gamble with? Even if you don’t become a millionaire, you will become significantly richer and accumulate hundreds of thousands of euros through long-term investing. This is easier, more reasonable and, above all, more likely than winning the lottery.

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