The lottery can be exciting. With the Mega Millions jackpot recently climbing above $1 billion for just the third time in the game's history, it's easy to let your mind run wild and imagine what you could do with that kind of money. On the other hand, some estimates suggest you're actually thousands of times more likely to get struck by lightning at some point in your life than win a given major lottery jackpot.

While the prospect of a once-in-many-lifetimes lottery windfall is undeniably thrilling, steadily investing in high-quality stocks is a much more realistic path to getting rich. Read on to see why a panel of Motley Fool contributors identified these three Nasdaq growth stocks as top picks capable of generating explosive long-term returns. 

Dozens of $100 bills scattered all over a flat surface.

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A long-term bet on the growth of streaming

Daniel Foelber: Roku (ROKU -3.05%) stock fell over 25% in after-hours trading on Thursday after the company reported falling revenue and a wider-than-expected loss. Lowering guidance for Q3 did nothing to improve matters. The earnings miss isn't too surprising given that Roku is heavily dependent on advertising spending, which has been weakening for many companies amid recession fears and lower consumer spending. Roku also isn't consistently profitable. But it has a reputation for high growth, and there's no reason it can't return to its winning ways.

When we think of streaming, we typically think of the content creators like Netflix. Roku is more in the business of streaming hardware. It offers a leading operating system for smart TVs, with over 63.1 million active accounts. Roku's ability to collect data and link advertisers to viewers has a lot of long-term upside, especially as streaming services like Netflix are starting to open the door to advertisers.

However, it's worth understanding just how badly Roku's business is performing right now. The company posted net income of $69.1 million in Q2 2021, then lost $110.5 million in Q2 2022. In Q3 2021, it made $68.8 million in net income. For Q3 2022, it's guiding for a staggering $190 million loss, which would be its largest quarterly loss in over five years. 

Down over 85% from its high and falling below a market cap of $10 billion, Roku stock is starting to look like an attractive high-risk/high-reward play for investors that are confident in the long-term growth of streaming. However, the situation could get worse before it gets better.

Not every great growth stock is a high-profile name

James Brumley: Workday (WDAY -1.34%) isn't a household name, but there's a good chance you or someone in your household is impacted by its products. This company "rents" cloud-based software to a variety of organizations, ranging from schools to banks to healthcare specialists.

It may feel like the wrong time to be invested in companies dependent on a strong economy. After all, we just learned the country's GDP contracted for a second consecutive quarter, which is a sign of recession. The trend Workday is plugged into, however, is bigger than any economic headwind.

It's called enterprise resource planning (ERP). Although it's not a new idea, major organizations have only recently begun appreciating its potential, perhaps because the companies behind (ERP) platforms have only recently been able to combine the right computer coding with an understanding of how to offer a seamless ERP service.

And Workday is one of the best of the best in this regard. Technology market research outfit Gartner just named it one of the few leaders within the cloud ERP market for service-centric enterprises, putting it shoulder to shoulder with Oracle and SAP. This accolade explains how the company's managed to grow its revenue so consistently for the past several years. This fiscal year's not likely to be any different, either, with analysts collectively calling for top-line growth of more than 20%, to be followed by sales growth of just under 20% next year. Earnings are expected to increase at a similar pace for the same two-year stretch.

It's a bit off-the-radar, but that doesn't diminish its upside potential. In this vein, the consensus target price near $216 is 43% higher than the stock's current price.

This technology could be revolutionary

Keith Noonan: Impinj (PI -4.72%) is a small-cap tech company that makes radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, sensors, and software. The company's tags are capable of transmitting data through radio waves without the need for a built-in power source, which means they can be attached to non-electronic objects and used to make those objects share data. Impinj's technologies are already being used to manage inventory and prevent merchandise theft at some retail stores, keep track of airline baggage, and monitor manufacturing production, but the potential for new applications and increased adoption is incredible.

Perhaps most importantly, RFID could play a huge role in automation. While machine vision technologies will allow robots and other forms of industrial machinery to see the physical world and make decisions based on that data, it's not really practical to have vision sensors outfitted to enable complete visibility of a factory or a warehouse.

Impinj's RFID technology makes it possible for the locations of tagged items to be identified by sensors with wide detection ranges and very high levels of accuracy. If a robot in an automated warehouse needed to retrieve an item from somewhere on the building floor, RFID tags and sensors could be used to help it identify exactly where that item was located and then confirm that the right object had been selected even if many other similar objects were located nearby.

For investors willing to embrace the risks that come with betting on emerging technologies, Impinj is a stock that could have huge a payoff. With a market cap of roughly $2.1 billion, this is still a small company that can deliver explosive growth, and it could go on to be a massive winner for those who take a buy-and-hold approach.