New Brunswick — A recent report put out by the financial division of Statistics Atlantic indicates that New Brunswickers have all but stopped investing their money, and are instead actually expecting to win Lotto 649.
From the first quarter of fiscal 2014 until now, Canadian banks have reported that their secure investments such as RRSPs and GICs have gone virtually untouched by the strangely optimistic New Brunswick population. Not only have they stopped investing, but New Brunswickers are also refusing to drop their hard-earned dollars into basic savings accounts for a rainy day — so sure is their dream of striking it rich.
The Manatee caught up with Wendel Wright, 41, as he was withdrawing money from an ATM in Brunswick Square in Saint John. “Back when I was in my 20s I’d slave away and put away some of every pay into a savings account. Now that I’ve finally got a few grand, it’s time to cash it in — taking this chunk right down to the Irving to get some lotto tickets,” he explained.
“I’m thinking I should be able to win that Set for Life game at the very least,” he said, waving the wad of bills around excitedly. “Just imagine it: a thousand bucks a week for 25 years! I can’t even envision that kinda money.”
Just as Wright banks on winning Set for Life, other New Brunswickers are blowing what could be their retirement savings or education funds on dozens of daily pull-tabs. “Every time I head over to the Quebec side of the river to get some beer I usually grab a handful of pull-tabs,” said Campbellton resident Fran Bellieu, 47. “I’m nowhere near retirement age, so I have quite a few more years to win enough to get me through. Super Bar tickets only cost a dollar, and if you get 3 gold bars next to each other you win $500! You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see I’d be a fool not to buy them up.”
Financial experts are puzzled as to how the entire population of New Brunswick has come to believe they stand a better chance at winning the lottery than at saving a chunk of their pay for the future. “What we’re seeing is a weird trend that doesn’t hold steady across Canada,” said a perplexed Garth Norris, an investment analyst with Canada Bank. “While other provinces like Ontario and British Columbia are investing more in the face of shaky economic times, people from New Brunswick are putting it all on whatever VLT or horse or scratch ticket they heard is ‘lucky.’ In fact, some people are even getting themselves into debt by taking out substantial loans, dubbed ‘lotto loans,’ specifically to use toward various ALC games — they’re calling it ‘good debt’ since it’s ‘bound to make them rich.’
“I don’t know,” said Norris, shaking his head. “… maybe we could all learn a thing or two from New Brunswickers about looking on the bright side of life.”