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August 08, 2014

Chip Cosmo isn’t some traditional financial consultant who's going to tell you to “invest wisely” and think about “long term planning.” Chip wants you to believe in yourself NOW when you’re young and nubile, not when you’re retired and gross. In each installment of INVEST TO WIN Chip recommends a method not to get rich quick, but to get rich nearly instantaneously. Today's method: scratch tickets.

Chip Cosmo

In each installment of CHIP FTW©, Chip provides advice that blows all other advice out of the water.

Listen, I’m not some sort of traditional financial consultant who’s going to tell you to “invest wisely” or think about “long term planning” or “be smart with your money.” I want you to believe that you can be a winner now when you’re young and nubile, not later when you’re retired and gross.

Sure, investing in stocks and mutual funds can be a great long term investment tool … for people who are boring and have nothing better to do than wait around for their money to ferment in a bank vault. But for those winners out there who want to get rich now, I recommend slightly more aggressive investment strategies, which brings us to today’s method: scratch tickets.

Some critics of my methods may say that putting your money in a savings account is a safer option. But I say to them: what if the bank burns down? What if you forget the password to your online savings account? Nothing is safe in this world. Sure, a ballplayer could bunt every time and hope he gets to first, but Chip Cosmo would rather strike out swinging for the fences every single time.

Just as mutual funds with a spectrum of assets offer a more stable alternative to investing in a single stock, I recommend diversifying your scratch ticket purchases.

In today’s column, I profile the six assets in my Win It Big Scratch Fund (WIBSF):


Name: Loose Change

Cost: $1

Potential return: $500; 500%

Overview: A small cap ticket, Loose Change offers investors six chances to win in a straightforward “match the Prize Box” format. Although on the small end in the scratch ticket market, a potential for a 500% return still towers above online Ally Bank’s 0.86% interest savings account, one of the higher savings account options available. To put that in real world terms, if you win the grand prize with Loose Change, you could buy 500 bags of Skittles at $1 per bag today, but if you invest $1 in an Ally savings account and wait an entire year, you still wouldn’t even have enough to buy two bags of Skittles. You do the math. Oh wait, you don’t need to, because I just did the math for you. Now time to scratch!!!

Actual return: $0

Conclusion: Ah. Damn. Man, I got excited when I saw that I had $500 in the Prize Box (the max!) but then none of my numbers matched. Damn. Oh well, that’s why you invest in an assortment of scratch tickets. Putting all your eggs in a single scratch-ticket-basket is foolish, and Chip Cosmo ain’t no fool!



Name: Win $1,000 A Week For Life

Cost: $2

Potential return: Depends how much longer you live I guess, but the guaranteed minimum payout is $1,000,000; so let’s say 500,000% increase

Overview: I like the Win $1,000 A Week For Life ticket because it’s practical. This is for the investor who doesn’t need a lump sum to put into some sort of other investment, but is happy to live his life spending $1,000 on a weekly basis. Plus, with two separate games on a single ticket you really feel like you’re getting your $2 worth. Time to scratch/invest!

Actual return: $0

Conclusion: I had two “LIFE” prize amounts!!! I just needed one more “LIFE” and I would have won the jackpot. So close. I feel good about this one because of how close I was. I mean, man, if just one of the other areas would have said “LIFE” I would have been set. Dang. Well, moving on!



Name: Bejeweled

Cost: $3

Potential return: $60,000

Overview: Warren Buffet, the “Oracle of Omaha”, is famous for his investing strategy of “value investments,” referring to his preference for investing in household names that people actually use. Following Buffet’s advice, I purchased “Bejeweled,” a scratch ticket named after a game that I play on my phone. Let’s play!

Actual return: $9 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Conclusion: Hell yeah!!! HELL YEAH!!! I got three crowns and that means $3 in one row, and I got three bells and that means $6 in another row, for a total of $9!!! So far, I’m coming out ahead in the fun! I’m not rich yet, but I’m on my way!! The INVEST TO WIN model works! I AM THE ORACLE OF SCRATCH TICKETS!!!



Name: Cadillac & Cash

Cost: $5

Potential return: $500,000 and a new Cadillac

Overview: An advertisement I saw on public transportation told me that this scratch ticket was the #1 luxury scratch ticket. Hey, if a scratch ticket is good enough for people already living a life of luxury, than it is good enough for me. Scratch time!

Actual return: $0

Conclusion: Damn. Damn damn damn. That one hurt. That one hurt because I sometimes do this vertical dyslexia thing where I can sixes and nines mixed up and I thought that I had a 19, which would have won me the jackpot of $500K, but instead it was a 16, so I didn’t win. I gotta go walk around the block. That one really hurt. I’ll scratch the next one when I get back.



Name: Franklin’s Fortunes

Cost: $10

Potential return: $3,000,000

Overview: Now we’re getting into big boy investing. If the guy at the bodega sees that you’re willing to drop $10 on a single scratch ticket, he knows that you’re a serious investor interested in some serious scratch. With Franklin’s Fortunes, you get 15 chances to win. You’ll need that money to pay for your carpal tunnel surgery, which you most certainly will need after all of the time you spend scratching. Since it’s important to learn from your past mistakes in investing, I’m using a different scratching strategy this time around: rather than scratch the “Your Numbers” section first and then scratch the “Winning Numbers” section, this time I’m going to switch up the order. Let’s do it!

Actual return: $0

Conclusion: Fuck me. I really felt good about that one. I feel so bad now. This is the worst I’ve felt so far. I just really … I just really thought I was going to win that time. Like, not even the jackpot, but maybe at least a mil. Fuck. I really needed that.



Name: Maximum Millions

Cost: $20

Potential return: $5,000,000

Overview: I spent twenty fucking dollars on a scratch ticket. I better at least win a grand.

Actual return: $0

Conclusion: There is no God. Leave me alone for a second. I need to go punch a hole through some drywall.


Investing lesson learned: While my initial investment of $41 has dwindled to a mere $9, a loss of over 78%, I still stand by the Chip Cosmo INVEST TO WIN strategy. I mean, the stock market fluctuates all the time. Ever heard of Black Monday or The Great Depression or the Dot Com Bubble? Those are all bad things that happened to stocks and stuff. So really, my problem wasn’t that I put my money in scratch tickets, but rather that I put my money in the wrong scratch tickets. And to be a winner, you gotta pick winners. So be sure to listen to ol’ Chip and go out and put all of your money in Bejeweled scratch tickets, a guaranteed investment winner!

Scratch tickets INVEST TO WIN© Investing Score: 5/5 Chips!

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