Get Rich: What Are the Real Odds You’ll Get Wealthy?

Donald Trump pauses for a moment after signing a poster depicting the over of his 2004 book "How To Get Rich"
Donald Trump pauses for a moment after signing a poster depicting the over of his 2004 book “How To Get Rich” | Peter Kramer/Getty Images

Everyone wants to get rich. But, of course, it isn’t easy. Many people spend their entire lives chasing the proverbial dragon, a mystical jackpot that will free them from their financial woes, get them out of debt, and land them a superyacht with which to travel the world. Again, though, very few people actually manage to pull it off. That doesn’t mean it isn’t possible, however. It’s just hard to temper your expectations, especially when you’re faced with the numbers.

Those numbers can be a slap in the face when you realize just how hard it is to get rich. Again — don’t be discouraged, or sink into a depression. But if you seriously plan on doing all you can to become insanely wealthy, you’re better off knowing the odds. Surprisingly enough, if you open up your options, there are many paths to wealth. Some are much easier, relatively speaking, than others.

According to new information put together by Lottoland, the U.K.’s official lottery betting system, your chances of getting rich increase substantially depending on which path you choose. If you plan on building a successful startup or business, for example, your chances increase dramatically. If you hope to get rich by hitting the lottery jackpot? You’ll probably never see your dreams manifest.

But if it’s any consolation, you have a better chance of dating a supermodel than you do of winning the lottery. So, you’ll still want to play your cards right.

Get rich: the odds, visualized

Here is an infographic Lottoland put together, detailing the odds of getting rich, compared to the chances of some other unlikely events occurring in your lifetime:

Warning, it’s huge:

odds of getting rich
Odds of getting rich | Lottoland

Right off the bat, a few things are plainly obvious. If you’re willing to work for it, wealth is going to come much easier than if you hope that the gods are going to drop bags of money in your lap. The most evident examples of that, according to Lottoland’s data, is that the odds of getting rich by way of building a successful startup, writing a New York Times best-seller (which may or may not make you rich), or becoming a professional athlete or poker player are much higher than leaving it all up to chance.

Compare the odds of those career achievements with those that are left up to blind luck — your chances of being born a billionaire are only one in 586,206, or winning the lottery are only one in 14 million. If there’s a lesson here, it’s this: Work for it.

Hell, you could even choose the marriage path — Lottoland’s figures put the chances of marrying a millionaire at one in 215. Not bad odds, though a lot of people look down on “gold digging.”

Building wealth

A man waters his money tree
A man waters his money tree | iStock

Clearly, just with a cursory read through of Lottoland’s infographic, we can see that there are many ways to get rich and build wealth. But you shouldn’t really just strive to get massively rich in one fell swoop; there’s a reason that so many lottery winners and professional athletes end up going broke in a relatively short period of time, after all. What you should do is aim to build sustainable wealth.

The kind of wealth that isn’t going to dry up, or get eaten away at by advisors, accountants, family members, and frivilous spending. There are tons of strategies you can employ, but it’ll take discipline, planning, and adherence to some strict guidelines to make it work. Others have, and you can too.

If you’re looking for a place to start, the 2016 Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth survey was recently released, and outlines 10 common traits that people who have had success building wealth possess. The survey looked at 684 high net worth individuals to see who they were, and how they managed to make their fortunes. A few of the common traits outlined include the fact that 77% of those surveyed came from lower or middle-class backgrounds, the vast majority also invested early and held their positions for the long term. They also knew how, and when, to use credit.

So, it’s possible to get rich. You just have to be smart about it. Don’t count on hitting that lottery jackpot any time soon — the numbers aren’t in your favor.

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