Winning the Lottery

Winning the Lottery

Aug 17 2018


What would you do if you had millions of dollars? Would you retire early and burn some cash? Would you buy a house or pay for college?

People who play the lottery dream of winning big. They want to get in on the prestige that comes with being rich. Of course, with the lottery, you have to spend money in order to have the chance to win money. The visual of millions of dollars can be a hard dream to ignore. But if you play lottery games all the time, you might be wasting money.

Learn Jessica and Marni’s scheme to win big in this English lesson about playing lottery games.


Marni: I just bought another Powerball ticket. You know it’s up to $400 million dollars? Just think of what we could do with that money!
Jessica: But all the money you’re wasting in buying the Powerball tickets. Do you know anybody who’s ever won?
Marni: Well, no. But it’s the dream, right? I just want to think about being rich and wealthy and…
Jessica: Dripping in money?
Marni: Yes, the visual of that just gets me so excited. It’s worth the dollar that I spend on the ticket.
Jessica: My sister lives in Las Vegas, and she loves the glam and the prestige of having all this money. But she wants to play Powerball, and they don’t have it in Las Vegas.
Marni: They don’t?
Jessica: No, so she always invests money in it by having me purchase them for her.
Marni: Is she willing to split the winnings with you if she wins?
Jessica: Absolutely. We have it all planned out so that we will both retire early, and be rich and wealthy for the rest of our lives.
Marni: Sounds like a pretty good scheme. I’d like to get in on that, you know. Maybe we should all go in together and burn some cash.
Jessica: Sounds like a good plan.
Marni: I like it. What are we going to do with our winnings?
Jessica: I don’t know.


Marni knows the “Powerball” is worth $400 million dollars, and she wants to win the money. She tells Jessica that she just bought another ticket, hoping to get rich.

At first, Jessica tells Marni that playing the lottery is a waste of money, but it turns out that Jessica has a scheme to win the lottery, too. Jessica’s sister lives in Las Vegas, where there is no Powerball, so Jessica buys tickets for her sister. If she wins, both Jessica and her sister will be able to retire early with lots of money.

Marni likes Jessica’s plan, and she wants to get in on it. She tells Jessica she’ll buy tickets, too, and then all three of them can split the winnings... if they ever do win any money.

What’s your opinion about playing the lottery? What would you do if you had millions of dollars to spend?

Grammar Point

Verbs with “-ing”

Jessica says her sister “loves the glam and prestige of having all this money.” Having is a verb with “-ing,” but since it follows the preposition of, it acts like a noun, so we call it a gerund.

You’ve probably seen a lot of verbs with -ing at the end of them, like sleeping, talking, or walking. There are two basic reasons to add -ing to the end of a verb: to form one of the progressive tenses, or to make a gerund, like Jessica does.

We use the progressive tenses to talk about on-going actions. There are progressive tenses for the past, present, and future. For example, the present progressive looks like this: “I am walking to work right now.” Progressive tenses are formed with be + main verb + -ing, as in, “Joe stopped by while I was watching a movie.”

Verbs ending in -ing can also be gerunds, which act like nouns in a sentence. In the sentence, “I do the cleaning and my wife does the cooking,” for example, both cleaning and cooking are gerunds. Gerunds often follow other verbs, as in, “I can’t stop thinking about you,” or, “I love skating.”

Which is correct, “We are get married next month,” or, “We are getting married next month”?


  1. Why does Marni play the lottery?

  2. Why does Jessica buy lottery tickets for her sister?

  3. What could a person use to show what he is talking about?

  4. Which sentence should not have an -ing verb?

See the full English lesson at English, baby!