As of March, 2011, “there were 1.7 million active poker player accounts in the US from players wagering around $14 billion a year online” (see The Wall Street Journal). A lot of these players must feel that they can gamble themselves into millionaire status. And who can blame them? Cable television relentlessly glorifies gambling and constantly associates poker playing, especially, with winning large sums of money. What it doesn’t show are those on the losing end who must hand over the deed to their homes and/or businesses and declare bankruptcy because of their losses at the poker table.
But those 733 millionaires whom I surveyed nationally for The Millionaire Mind have a much different perspective on gambling. “Not one millionaire I interviewed had one nice thing to say about gambling.” One respondent who had a net worth in the mid eight figures summed it up by saying:
My source of wealth. . . my business. . .any economically successful man doesn’t gamble. . . . I don’t gamble . . . . I . . . worked too _ _ hard for what I got.
Even the element of luck ranks low as a success factor among millionaires. Out of the 30 success factors rated by them, luck ranks 27th. Only 12% of these wealthy respondents felt that being lucky was a very important factor in explaining their socioeconomic success.
Modern technology now makes it possible to have a casino in every room of your home, and even in the palm of your hand, 24/7. But those who will succeed in becoming wealthy are self disciplined enough to ignore this “opportunity.” Millionaires rank self discipline and integrity as their most important success factors.
As I wrote in The Millionaire Next Door:
They [millionaires] did it slowly, steadily, without signing a multimillion-dollar contract with the Yankees, without winning the lottery, without becoming the next Mick Jagger. Windfalls make great headlines, but such occurrences are rare. In the course of an adult’s lifetime, the probability of becoming wealthy via such paths is lower than one in four thousand. Contrast these odds with the proportion of American households (3.5 per one hundred) in the $1 million and over net worth category.