If you must gamble ... play bingo!


Like most personal finance writers, I don't think gambling is something people should be doing -- Studies have shown that those who play the lottery tend to be the people who can least afford it. But if you have an insatiable desire to blow money on games of chance where the odds are hopelessly stacked against you (and are too smart to try day trading), I would suggest bingo.

Why? Because it involves sitting there for awhile and slows down the rate at which you can blow money. Playing the Lottery is like throwing a few dollars out the window -- at least with bingo, it takes awhile to lose your money. And if you can find a really gross bingo hall -- filled with cigarette smoke and body odor -- that's even better. You'll be miserable and won't be tempted to play for very long. Also, restrict yourself to one or two cards at a time.

A piece in the Wall Street Journal takes a pointless but entertaining look (subscription required) at The Bingo Bugle, a newspaper of sorts distributed at bingo games. You have to think this is the kind of journalism that will be on the chopping block once Rupert gets around to shaking up the paper.