This is Cheeruk, my first goldfish, and the bowl I was told he could live in when I first got him. That was two years ago, he was an inch long.
I won him at the local carnival, in the ping pong toss game. I loved him immediately and took him to the pet shop in town for advice. They gave me the bowl, some gravel, and a single plastic plant and told me he should live a few years at least. Luckily I did a bit of research, which led to more research and two years later he shares a 55 gallon tank with three other goldfish. If I can move them up even further, ideally to a pond someday, he can reach age 20.
20 years. Compared to a maximum of 3 in a bowl. That is some serious misinformation, and so many first time fish owners get goldfish thinking they’re low-maintenence, short-term pets, when they have so much more potential.