Well, here they are…those losing lottery tickets I wrote about last night. Despite the pitiful, next-to-non-existent odds, I made a last minute trip to the grocery store to buy a chance.
So, what is it that drives a lot of us to jump on the lottery bandwagon, knowing we don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning? Here are a few erroneous beliefs from ProblemGambling.ca:
- Events are consistently erratic – (Events are always erratic; fundamental uncertainty)
- Things “even out” – (Things don’t have to even out, but sometimes do as more observations are made; law of large numbers)
- If a number hasn’t come up in awhile, it’s “due” – (coins, dice, etc. have no memories; independence of events)
- After a few losses, a person is due for a win – (A player is never due for a win/loss; independence of events)
Math has never been my strong suit. If it were, I would have chosen engineering or some other field that pays big bucks. Instead, I enjoy reading, writing, and the more creative stuff. Despite this, I’m realistic about the odds of winning a game of chance, which is why I seldom play. It’s only when a jackpot reaches newsworthy proportions, due to no winners, that I buy a ticket. In 2015 I bought less than five tickets for the entire year.
The Lottery Commission estimates that the jackpot will rise to $1.3 billion by the next drawing on Wednesday, January 13th. That puts the odds of winning at 1 in 292.2 million.
According to nbcnews.go.com previous lottery winners offer clues to beating the odds and advice for properly securing the new found wealth:
- Let the computer pick the numbers
- If you do pick your own keep in mind that the following numbers are most frequently drawn: 8, 54, 14, 39 and 13
- Immediately sign the back of the ticket
- Stay anonymous if your state allows it
- Assemble a reputable money management team
- Wait 6 months to a year before making a large purchase or spending a large sum – 44% spend the entire winnings within five years (Camelot Group Study 2015)
So, since I only spend one dollar, this fool will buy another ticket and hope that even a small win is in the cards.
If not, that’s OK. At least I won’t wonder “what if.” I’ll know for sure that I lost! 🙂