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When I was a kid, our family would once a year play the lottery. We kids talked with our parents about what we would do if we won the jackpot, and whenever we won something small like $100, we would all go out for dinner for that money. If we won nothing (like usually), at least we had the fun of thinking about how our life would change if we got rich.

I really liked this, I think especially since my parents were usually very rational and conservative planners, and this lottery playing with its randomness was somewhat of unusual.

Now my question: Suppose I'd like to do something similar once I'll have kids.

However, I really don't like the expectation value of 45% that you get back for every 100% payed for lottery tickets (I'm referring to the German system, where I live). I wonder, is there a way of buying a financial product (as a normal person, with a normal personal trading account), that has a similar variance as the lottery ticket (given a reasonable time-frame), but a better average payout (expectation value), ideally >100%?

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    You may be interested to read about prize-linked savings accounts. Guaranteed not to lose money (except possibly in real terms vs. inflation). – dg99 Mar 6 '15 at 17:43
  • I've always loved that idea. Wish it was legal in the US. – JohnFx Mar 6 '15 at 20:47

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