It is valid question I suppose.  Having done both I can say that i would easily choose 50 dollars in options over a $50 scratch ticket.

Here’s why:

– You can’t research a scratch ticket.  Once you buy it your fate is set and most likely it’s a loser.

– If you buy 1 SPY option contract at $.50 (which will cost $50 + a fee) you have some control.  You can get out.  You can double down.  You can buy that option far out in time or for today.  Overall, you have way more control over how things may plan out.  A $.50 option contract is a fairly safe bet in my mind (at least for SPY).  You can easily turn $50 into $100, $200, or more.  You still can only lose $50 max just like a scratch ticket.  At least you have a move to make post purchase.