I heard someone ask, "How do you win the lottery?", as if there were a strategy you could follow to guarantee success in a game of blind luck. After some consideration, though, I realized that there was a good answer to the question:
The reason lotteries exist is because they are profitable; in other words, they bring in more money than they pay out. If this was not the case, the lottery would go bankrupt and would not have enough cash to pay the winners. So, as a whole, the people who play the lottery lose money. The odds are just not in their favor.
Lotteries will often list the odds of winning as something like "1 in 36", meaning one ticket out of every 36 will win. What they mean by that is simply the odds of winning something. If you get a couple of matching numbers and win $3, that means you won something. And, in reality, almost every single winner in a lottery is of the single-digit variety: $3, $4, maybe $7. If you spend $36 on the lottery and buy 36 tickets, you will, on average, win one time, and that winning ticket will almost always be of the $3 or $4 variety. Congratulations, you just lost $33.
Of course, no one plays the lottery to win the $3 prize; they play to win the jackpot. The goal is to make an unfathomable amount of money so that you can retire and live on a beach somewhere and have servants hand-feed you whatever it is that rich people eat. That is why so many people spend billions, collectively, on lottery tickets each year. So what are the odds of really winning the lottery--you know, hitting the jackpot?
Oh, sure, people do win, occasionally. It can happen. But for all practical purposes, no, it won't happen to you.
Two of the biggest lottery programs, Powerball and Mega Millions, offer the really huge jackpots, with payouts that you truly could live off of for the rest of your life in millionaire style. The reason the jackpots are so immense is because, for the most part, nobody wins them. Millions and millions of people buying tickets across multiple states, and yet each lottery regularly goes weeks without having a single jackpot winner. How is that possible?
Don't worry, this isn't a conspiracy. The lack of winners is not only entirely possible, it is probable. The lottery commissions know that, usually, no one will win, because the probability of someone winning are so small. For Powerball, the odds of winning the jackpot with any given ticket are 1 in 146,107,962. For Mega Millions, the odds are 1 in 175,711,536.
Both of those work out to, essentially, zero chance.
Let me put that in perspective for you. There are, roughly, 290 million people in the United States. Two of those people are the movie stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. So, the odds that the next person who knocks on your front door is either Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie are about 2 in 290,000,000, which is the same as saying 1 in 145,000,000. Which is about the same as the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot (1 in 146,107,962). Is Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie going to knock on your door? Is there any remote chance of that at all? No? Well, that's the same odds you have of winning Powerball. With Mega Millions, your odds are even lower.
(Keep in mind, with this example, it has to be either Brad or Angelina. So, even if Tom Cruise or Katie Holmes were to knock on your door--which is, of course, not going to happen--but even if it did happen, you still would not have won the lottery. Also, it has to be the very next person who knocks. So, if your neighbor comes over to borrow your ladder, and then Brad Pitt shows up, you still lost. Thanks for playing.)
Still think you have any chance whatsoever of winning? Let's try some other examples. Do you, personally, have any shot of ever dating a supermodel? Well, you are 2,000 times more likely to date a famous supermodel than to pick a winning Mega Millions ticket (1 in 88,000). Ever been struck by lightning? Lucky you. It is over 250 times as likely as having the winning Powerball numbers (1 in 576,000). Remember the movie Armageddon? The odds of such an asteroid actually hitting Earth in your lifetime and killing you are estimated at 8,800 times more likely than winning Mega Millions (1 in 20,000). And that even requires the impossibility that Bruce Willis would actually fail at something.
Of course, that is all based on the odds for a single ticket. You might wonder, what if I buy multiple tickets? Won't my odds be higher? Well, sure, if you want to throw more money at an impossibility. The odds may change, but the expected return on your money is still the same.
Here's what I mean: if you want to buy more tickets and improve your odds, you could just go all the way and buy every possible ticket--all 175,711,536 number combinations in Mega Millions, for example. Then your odds of winning would be 1 in 1; you would be guaranteed to win the jackpot. Good for you! And it only cost you $175,711,536!
But wait--the payout is not normally $175 million. So, even if the jackpot is a respectable $50 million or $100 million, you just lost a lot of money. And even if the jackpot is $175 million, you still lost money, because you don't get to keep all of the jackpot. If you want the money now, and take the "lump sum" option, then your payout is barely more than half that amount: about $100 million. And that is before taxes. After tax, we're talking about $72 million or so. You just won the lottery, and lost over $100 million in the process. That's an investment return of -59%.
The only way to even break even in this scenario is if the jackpot is over $423 million--which is higher than the largest lottery jackpot, ever. And even then, if someone else also buys a winning ticket, you have to split the earnings.
In other words, trying to win the lottery is a losing proposition. It does not make sense financially, no matter how large the jackpot or how many tickets you buy, and the odds of picking the winning numbers are essentially zero.
As one final piece of evidence, I present to you this--one of several stories I have seen about people winning the lottery without even buying a ticket. Once in a great while, someone simply finds a winning lottery ticket. This means that, technically, the odds of winning the lottery without ever buying a ticket are greater than zero. Probably 1 in a billion, but still greater than zero. And since the odds of buying a winning ticket are also nearly zero, you could say that someone has about the same chance of winning the lottery whether they ever buy a ticket or not.
So, how do you win the lottery? Don't play.
agilesh agilesh on September 20, 2019:
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Anna on July 08, 2016:
With such a negativity in your mind... You'll never win.You got to believe!
uncappedshady on April 10, 2016:
To win the lottery is a total random thing just like how the numbers are drawn. See my hubpage here: https://hubpages.com/entertainment/How-to-really-w...
Alexander on August 03, 2014:
Everyone has an equal chance of winning the powerball or mega millions. The "odds" of winning has absolutely no way of determining your chances. You can't predict if anyone is going to choose the winning numbers, for all you know it could be anyone including you. Your being is being ignorant and small minded. Your problem seems like you focus on how much there making off of tickets. First of all why do you even care? Just be happy for them and wish them the best because you can have anything you want. There is no "odds " of being struck by lightening , it's all about being in the right place at the right time. It can happen to anybody. I wish you the best! I would advice reading about the law of attraction and taking it seriously. Stop being so small minded cause it will get you no where in life. I'm 16 years old and I'm obviously far more open minded than you. Don't worry you can be like me someday! I wish you the best and I'm very thankful too give you my advise .
Alexander on August 03, 2014:
Everyone has an equal chance of winning the powerball or mega millions. The "odds" of winning has absolutely no way of determining your chances. You can't predict if anyone is going to choose the winning numbers, for all you know it could be anyone including you. Your being is being ignorant and small minded. Your problem seems like you focus on how much there making off of tickets. First of all why do you even care? Just be happy for them and wish them the best because you can have anything you want. There is no "odds " of being struck by lightening , it's all about being in the right place at the right time. It can happen to anybody. I wish you the best! I would advice reading about the law of attraction and taking it seriously. Stop being so small minded cause it will get you no where in life. I'm 16 years old and I'm actually
james on December 24, 2012:
hi my name is James am from UK i love gambling as a way of life but i have never won anything better all through my life but i was still borrowing money from friends to play the game because i felt i can,t do without it not until this bad morning when i lost all properties to my closest friend that has lend me some few dollars and i failed to pay him back at the agreed time ,so i was frustrated and has no place to stay but i was still on the street searching for a solution,s to my problems until i met an old friend which we do play together then he introduce me to this DR ABULU of email@example.com and i contacted him for help and i was very surprise after i have done what he ask me to do he send me some lucky number,s and ask me to play them and when i did i won what i never expected in my life please people i want you all to thank this man for me , in case there is any one out there having marriage , or bad luck problems should contact this man today and i believe he can also help you out as well ,
saint hewill from auckland new zealand on December 19, 2012:
On behalf of around 10,000 people and myself want to thank one of the best lottery wizard of the world, who indeed has been working with numbers from birth, from age of 21 to age of 45 with number abilities won for us both lottery and keno to the tune of 300,000,000, however although all the people won this amount and shared, around almost 50% of this amount was used to win the amount. The amount was won with about 20% being invested in the games, and 30% went towards wages to organise the ordeal, this is a true fact, and any one who contacts mobile +6421468169 firstname.lastname@example.org can learn this truth. this guy is the only soul on earth probably who certainly can win any lotto keno on earth, his skype name is kaitas6
Ramouse on December 18, 2012:
I love this email@example.com this man is so professional. I am so glad I decided to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the lotto game i played yesterday and i win the amount of 4000.00 Dollars. he has been so wonderful to work with I have never received such personalized service!
geri tracy on November 29, 2012:
I still don't believe I will ever win anything playing PC. It has been 4 years now and I never even won a bingo.
dicaslotofacil on June 24, 2012:
I was impressed with the amount of people who have won the lottery and lose everything
gya on June 19, 2012:
Thank you James. :)
james on May 31, 2012:
I came into this world without a dime even by the slightest
chance I won the lottery I will most certainly leave this
world without a dime that I can garentee is a win.
bazlur rashid on May 19, 2012:
How can I prdict powerball. megamillion lottery
ns on May 14, 2012:
with all respect your article is shallow and i am sure you played lottery many many times but didn't win so you are frustrated .read the story of the winners .you will find the secret to win. its no secret actualy .its mentioned in the bible by our master yahushua(jesus)
whiplash785 on May 13, 2012:
It would be fun to dream of winning the lottery, even though the odds are a million to one.
gladiator4life on May 02, 2012:
This is the first time I've spoken about this. I wanted to break my silence. About a month ago, I purchased 3 Megamillions tickets for the 600+ million lottery. This was the first time I had purchased lottery tickets in my life. I grabbed 2 fill out cards and walked to my car with my mother in the passenger seat. On the fill out sheet I chose 6 numbers, my mother filled in 6 and for the third we chose quick pick. While waiting on my mother to pick her numbers, I began filling numbers on the spare fill out card I had. We both aren't much of gamblers and the hype on the news convinced me that the odds were not in my favor. So we didn't want to spend too much, especially since we don't have much as it is. I opted to redeem $3 worth ...the card both my mother and I filled out and just hoped for the best. Like millions of others around America, we didn't win. About a week after the drawings, I was cleaning out my car and came across the second fill out card I had tucked away on the side. Glancing over the numbers I filled in, I coulldn't help but notice some of the numbers looked strangely familiar. When I logged online to re-check the winning numbers for that lottery, I was devastated to find out that the numbers I had circled matched. I just hadn't submitted them. What would have costed me a measly $2 dollars ended up being a 600+ million dollar loss. Since the discovery, I've fell into a bout of depression. As much as I try not to show it, my face expresses it all. I look and feel terrible. Still though, I refuse to tell anyone I know. Not friends, not family. Nothing good comes of it. Just regret. Regret that has made my life a living hell til this day. If only I had submitted that damn card! I carry this weight on my shoulders every day. I cannot help but wonder what could have been. The type of lifestyle that money could of offered for my family. Something I could never provide even working two full-time jobs as it is. Amongst the regret though, I try to find greater reason. Perhaps all that money would caused something terrible to happen. I guess I'll never really know. I can only hope though that the opportunity will come again one day -- this time with the ticket redeemed. God bless.
Priest on April 25, 2012:
Its gambling for sure.. I'll bet on that!
Jim on April 03, 2012:
Never underestimate the power of positive thinking...
I can tell you one thing, You'll NEVER win with an attitude like "I can't win". A large part of winning is having FAITH that you will win.
gale on March 31, 2012:
that said.... if you are not coming from needy which supports having more need like wanting equals more wanting....here is an experience I had I was trying to decide whether to end up with a futre husband or not three neames were engraved on the sidewalk.. in an area there were absolutley zero other names...an upscale community in Hawaii, my daughters name and his name were right there, engraved in the cement! there was the Brad Pitt you mentioned... however mine for the good or bad of it was my intuition... and I went with it...not craving but an asking and being open to the answer...
gale on March 31, 2012:
how do you know an addict they justify to support that continued urge..whether it's doughnuts, liquor, cigarettes, shopping, or lottery... the higher the reasoning sometimes equates to the higher the addiction and if your friends are in agreement add to the picture the success of enabling..we find other fat people to eat dinner with want to lose weight hang out with skinny people who drive you crazy want to maintain go eat KFC with your friends..hey it's friends nite out...who is your friend one who tells you what you want to hear or one who is willing to risk losing your friendship...
thumbuster on March 29, 2012:
Brad Pitt just knocked on my door!
**** on March 28, 2012:
Two coins equal 30 cents one of them is not a nickel what are they?
Kevin on March 28, 2012:
How do you explain the people who have won jackpots multiple times?
not a winner(YET) on March 25, 2012:
Ok look, If you want to talk odds, well i have a odd's game for you. YES the odds are stacked against every one when they play the lottery. That's just the way the game is. Just look at you'r town, and every one within 30-40 miles of it. How many times has some from your town WON the lottery. For me ONE in that past 40 years. But on the flip side, 2 years ago I read that THREE people (all from different states)won a jackpot of 389MILLION. Now I'm NO math whiz but if the odds that one person are gonna pick the winning number are 1 IN 175,711,536. then it stands to reason that the odds TREE people would win is astronomical. So if for that reason only, then you should play, cause if they can do it so can you. knowing full well that YOU probably wont win. but hey to me its $10 a week. No big deal, I'm sure i spend more on coffee every morning and I've never heard of a coffee cup paying out 300MILLION dollars.
Runwiththewinners on March 20, 2012:
Interesting. I know people who've played the lottery all their lives and never won a dime. The odds are low. But to say to not play? Well that would make your odds exactly zero to win. While playing at least gives you a chance. Also, there are definitely some strategic ways to win the lottery. You might not win the 100 million dollar jackpot, but you can win money. The lottery is about strategy and persistence. If you play a set of numbers for a whole week and don't win, do you bow out and not play the next day? Or do you keep playing? Countless of people become frustrated with losing only to watch their number come out. Only play with money you can afford to lose. And study up on something you spend money on. After all, how many idiots do you know that just went and invested in any stock they didn't know about and came out millionaires? Is it possible? Yes. But most likely they will lose money if they don't know what's going on. I haven't won any significant amount playing the lottery(Im in my late 20's). However, I found a strategic way to minimize losses and maximize odds. As the saying goes it takes money to make money. Those of you looking to cash in by just buying one ticket everyday are pretty much chasing the wind.Could that happen? Sure indeed. But imagine putting 1000 numbers in a hat and only having 1 number. I guarantee that a person who has 100 numbers will draw that number before your 1 number 99.5% of the time. It's a game of chance and of time. Life is always about taking risk. To stand out you have to take risk that other people aren't willing to take. You have to have faith. No one hit the lottery with no faith. Otherwise they wouldn't have played at all. Remember, run with the winners!
huge on March 18, 2012:
well that was an utterly completely depressing read. just what i needed after checking three tickets and in disbelief winning nothing. i even resent people buying tickets in front of me in line, because it makes me realise what a chump i am spending money on these tickets.
i just so desperately want to leave my ****ing job and be free. then you see the saps who win £45,000,000 ($120,000,000 aprox) and they'e just bastards, what did they do to deserve that?
completely ****ing infuriating. life, the whole world - everything is about money, money money. i ****ing hate it.
ttt on March 17, 2012:
1 in 77 is not to high. 1 in 77 is like winning $20 or more. chances of winning any prize for most lotteries is 1 in 6.6 any cash is 1 in 36
Chris on March 16, 2012:
I was out of work for months. As soon as I cast the Career Spell of email@example.com, I got two different job offers within a week.
bclc on March 14, 2012:
hello, i am the lottery expert. the information above are not true. ttt is a liar. winning $1 million dollars or more is hard. but, let me tell you. winning $20 million is not to hard and i heard that once, 3 people won the jackpot. sorry, i do not know anything about USA lotteries.
Imtiaz Ahmed Khan on March 14, 2012:
I want win this lottry because i am needy.
ttt on March 13, 2012:
winning $1 million dollars or more is not hard. just Pick numbers that you think its a winner. so buy TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!
TruthTeller on March 02, 2012:
It's hard to look for a black cat in a dark room.... especially when it's not there.
ravi kanth reddy on March 02, 2012:
hi iam in hyderabad i want internet no pay lotters
Christina on March 01, 2012:
ALOT of this has been exaggerated to make it look even more impossible. First, 175 cash out amount is not 100 million. It is about 25 to 26% less which makes the cash out 140. Then deduct taxes, take home is probably around 100 million on 175 million. Course I'd be overjoyed to win the 1 million from Powerball (not as high odds as the jackpot) or to win the 200,000 or 250,000! These amounts less taxes would make a huge difference in our lives here! If you don't play you can't win. PFFFTTT
Kike69 on February 28, 2012:
I will playing lottery for years;never won anything but I'm still playing and never loose my. Faith on GOD!
ZK Green on February 25, 2012:
I KNOW that I am about to win millions-upon-millions of dollars either on Mega Millions or Power Ball. Then, I am headed off to "The Great State of Tennesesee."
Junior on February 24, 2012:
I have my believes that i will win a lottery if i play. I usually play $5 KENO ticket like 3 times a week but didn't win for a while. I never gave up because i believe that i can win, so i played again and won $500 and $640 within a month. I just hope people learn from this. I'll continue to play and i believe i will win MILLIONS of dollars.
Crazydavid. on February 23, 2012:
You say its not possible to hit the lottery? And yet someone wins every so often. So that makes it possible. It is possible even with the slightest chance. Just not often. So what the hell, take a chance.
Winner on February 14, 2012:
This is such a non-issue. The only way you can win is to buy a ticket. END OF DISCUSSION. Either you have a winning ticket or a losing ticket. It's really not that deep. Odds this and odds that. Who cares about the odds when you have a chance at winning millions upon millions of dollars!!!
saint hewill from auckland new zealand on February 13, 2012:
This is not a Joke. I am predicting New york lottery numbers all 7 numbers drawn, and take it or leave it, i will not let you play cause i can play them from new zealand with the lotter, so watch out, the lotter, and lotto agency will spell they got a winner in Ny for wed, and one of the winner is me. i won then with no luck, the money may go to a school in mumbai, india however they pay in 26 annual installments.. so i may not live that long.... i can mention the total of 6 drawn numbers, one of the numbers in the 7 is hard to predict with dot precision, the totals: a total of one of the 6 combinations of 7 numbers: 187 in the 7 numbers drawn, if you split them into all the possible 6 numbers, one of the 6 number combination will total 187 when this is true and i won the nylotto forget forever lotto is not game of brains. master minded brains. i am doing this a favor for the site to support the topic. i predicted on lottery post uk lotto numbers all correct for public about 10 years ago.
zeke on February 12, 2012:
Kevin McConaghy (the “h” is silent) is a freelance writer and recovering advertising account executive who officially lives in Dallas, Texas. He is 29 years old and has lots of money...go figure, simply not in touch
zeke on February 12, 2012:
Lottery officials say someone who played the Powerball in Rhode Island has won the $336.4 million jackpot.
CBS News feb 12, 2012..good thing he didn't take your advice...it could be anybody who buys a ticket
zeke on February 12, 2012:
In fact, it is almost guaranteed that the jackpot will be won by someone. do you see my point? (by someone) and the odds were astronomical, yet that person still won. so if everyone took your advice there would be no winners...so buy a ticket what the hell, you might just be that person that this guy said never had a chance
saint hewill from auckland new zealand on February 08, 2012:
all lotteries can be won with brains i worked for 16 eyars and have won for over 10 people roughly in total 600 million DKK or 100 million us dollars, i did this with brains but to win thaqt i used 40 million dollars so it was all the eople gave me and they won and its their joy. one has to have the ability to guess minimum 4 numbers to be correct in chosen 8 numbers then in a lotto game of 50 numbers for example all psoosible pairs match wih all 4 and you got the lottery at least once every 10 tries. i can certainly win the lottery with the stake aboe foir any one on earth contact skype kaitas6 it you can colect poeople tow in or got own cash
mike on February 05, 2012:
I know the chance slim to none, but whenever I do buy a lottery ticket I feel like I'm the next winner. I won $1500 a year ago I got 5 of the 6 numbers correct in the state lotto, I still get excited whenever I play.
tommy on January 28, 2012:
dose anybody know if the lotto blackbook work
elly on January 28, 2012:
I always look at my biorythms when i play lottery or other games. If i don't have least two high i don't play.
Fired Up on January 27, 2012:
yes indeed the odds of winning are high, so what, but when it comes down to it someone has to win, 5 years ago, my uncle purchased 60 dollars worth of powerball tickets and he hit the jackpot for 82 million dollars. Chances make Champions.
Lucky guy on January 27, 2012:
Lets' just said that everybody is a winner in this life, as you know we have to thank God for givin us a "Life" everyday and for let us try to play everytime there is a big Jackpot the odds of winning are very high think about it there most important things to do than just being negative let's just try to be patience and we will win
Bhutan-Nepal-3rd Country! on January 25, 2012:
Play it, 2 rules apply: (1) The lottery balls have no memmory, so it's purely a game of chance, However for some reason 1,2,3,4,5,6 has less chance than randon numbers like 1, 18, 27, 26, 38 45.
(2) U gotta have a ticket in ur pocket to win.
Win or entertain urself. Don't spent too much, just only as much s u can. If u win, u r gr8, if not don't worry, take it ezy!
Godwin acacia on January 19, 2012:
Am Godwin 4rm Onitsha, nigeria Messages are coming to me several times that i won some money with my username in ongoing 2go awards, plz can someone win a prize on 2go?
Winner on January 18, 2012:
Please do your research. People WIN the lottery ALL OF THE TIME. If you go to your state's official lottery site. You will see the number of people who had winning tickets. I know of someone who hit the jackpot in New York. I know a few more people who won $1,000,000.00.
There are WINNERS each and every time the lottery is drawn.
This entire article was incorrect.
I ENJOY READING ARTICLES STEEPED IN TRUTH.
embyGee on January 15, 2012:
stop doing drugs before posting on this blog. by the way the powerball just went to 2$ officially today. Why? don't care I bought the 80$ million ticket
ben blaai on January 14, 2012:
people r wining the lotto jackport, so stop ukukhuluma amasimba joe
Troll on January 13, 2012:
there actually is a way to win the lottery with a 100% chance, here's how you do it:
1. get a time machine
2. go forwards 1 day in time
3. write down tomorrows lottery numbers
4. go back in time
5. buy a lottery ticket with the winning numbers
Chris on January 10, 2012:
My cousin won $40 million in the lottery. I also know another person that won $10 million. You say it's basically impossible to win, but I know two people that won millions. Oh, and I did almost get struck by lightning once. I blasted the tree about ten feet from me in my yard. I felt the hairs on my neck stand up and I jumped on the ground and it just missed me. I know most will never win, but everyone has the same chance. People win all the time. Just my 2 cents.
angel on January 02, 2012:
All you guys gotta know is that if your meant to win you will...weather you buy a QP or you pick your numbers...if god planned on you winning then you will win...but it has to have a bigger purpose then just making you rich...most of the people than won had someone saying that they deserved it...think why they would say that and you'll know if you'll win...change the way you think,if you need to win then you wont...you have to have the desire to win and be certain that you will win and expect the win...that is how you win the jackpot... also know that there is no limit to anything if you keep thinking that you wanna win before anyone else does you are limiting your mind which will prevent the fulfillment of your dreams...
mARIE kIRK on December 29, 2011:
Is this a dream?
Ms. Monee on December 27, 2011:
The author of this article needs to get a LIFE. If the author doesn't wish to play, then don't. But he cannot tell other folks how to spend their money. Why? 'Cause it's none of his business.
I faithfully play the lottery everyday.
Dream Big on December 24, 2011:
If you don't play you don't win... Where else could you take $1 and turn it into millions so $2 doubles your chances and $3 triples your odds....Imagine what $100 can do for you..... Wow!! kidding aside Don't bet the farm on gambling... But I look at it as I don't drink or smoke so a few bucks a day for a chance at millions Im in. Good Luck!!
LeBoom on December 12, 2011:
Cest La Vie!
zephbe on December 04, 2011:
Who are you to stop someone else from dreaming? And, yes, people do win the lottery everyday--not necessarily the jackpot-but enough to make a difference in their lives. If YOU don't believe YOU can win--then YOU should not buy a ticket. But don't discourage others from dreaming because YOU didn't win. They might have better luck than you.
Brian on December 01, 2011:
Lotteries are simply a chance to win a dream. Yes, the odds of winning the jackpot are astronomical, but the fact remains that just about every jackpot IS claimed by someone or group, usually within a month or two of the drawing. And at least lately, I have not heard of anyone being struck by lighting... I have a job paying about $100K/year. My yearly lottery budget is $3200. I play PowerBall, Mega Millions, Win For Life and Decades of Dollars. I still max out my TSP every year and have a savings account with a nice balance. I pay all my bills on time. When I'm having a rough day at work, I can always pull out that Powerball ticket and, for a moment, dream of my nice home on some tropical beach (with my wife, of course). When I find out I did not win squat, I just tell myself, "Maybe Next Week!" -- and push on toward retirement. Lotteries are the dream that keeps giving. I may never win, but I'd rather have the real "possibility" of an accelerated retirement, than not. Yes, I could invest the same $3200 and see a reasonable return, but receiving a bank statement with a few dollars interest does not equal the high of a potential $100 million dream. Play responsibly and it'll help you get through the work week.
mzwhilby from Davie, Florida on November 28, 2011:
You are a great writer. I began reading as a disillusioned and depressed person and ended up smiling. Great writing.
Rose on November 28, 2011:
king on November 25, 2011:
I believe that i will win the mega millions jackpot for more than 70 million dallors on 12/2/11 bc on before i went to bed on 11/24/11 i asked the lord to take my life away on that same night if i don't win the jackpot for 70 million dallors or more on that on 12/2/11 and the next day i woke up. I know i will win on that day in JESUS name Amen.
Manny p on November 21, 2011:
I won the lottery 2 times in Texas.
Richard Palmer on November 17, 2011:
Think of a robot,
Now bring it to life by giving it a neural net brain,
It now needs programming to know the difference between wrong and right, so give it science, religion and philosophy, and the rest.
The human mind works in this way and in a way buying a lottery ticket and having a dream of winning gives a sense of well being.
My argument is not that the lottery is a drug (which is understandable why you came to that conclusion, it keeps the majority going through rough times. okay a conspiracy then, (lol I'll leave that up to you to make your own mind up about)
A man/woman wakes up gets dressed, its raining, your late your boss is stressy you buy lunch but something ruins it. but you have a lottery ticket and life could change. wow I read this sounding like some kind of preacher, but its part of what keeps society ticking over.
Let me leave you with this...
Coffee is a drug
That strange item you got in a Christmas cracker had odds that it may be something useful or maybe not
0 is a number it is also as important as 56 - best known as 42 the answer to life the universe and everything for the mathematically naïve.
You have exactly the same odds as having a heart attack while picking up your lottery win as getting the win
Approx 56 Australians die from licking 9v batteries every year.
you were born
Life is full of odds and yours is even like with everyone else.
Travis on November 03, 2011:
I win the lottery today ... So good luck
Raymond on October 29, 2011:
Actually, winning the lottery will do you a lot of good in the long run. By winning something like $100M, you can invest it all and just live your life off the interest. :))
Ravemaster on October 25, 2011:
The only way to earn a lot of money in life is to earn it.
I believe that the lottery was invented for people who takes life as a mere joke. Who are you guys to actually think that "winning the lottery" will do you any good in the long run?
In fact, the lottery, given personification, would probably be laughing at you right now.
chhabishek rai on August 18, 2011:
i never play lottery this makes a person dream only ...better not to play is a good answer
Muffy on August 18, 2011:
Yes, the odds are horrible, most of us will never win, but what's wrong with taking a chance? What's wrong with believing you just maybe the lucky SOB who wins the jackpot? We play now & then. Yeah, we may never win, but what's wrong with trying? Buying a soda is not going to set me for life, but a 1.00 ticket will if it's a winner.
carlo_olano from Cebu City, Philippines on August 04, 2011:
good for you that you do not bet the lotto. People do it for several reasons and I don't blame. A lot of people knows that chances are remote but people hope that a miracle would happen. And sometimes, they do happen ;)
John on April 06, 2011:
@ Vince. 80k when I'm 60 will be worth a fraction of what it is today. When I get hit by that bus when I'm 52 none of it's gonna matter anyway.
microfinance from Morocco on March 20, 2011:
Great Hub. Finally, Math Professor Discored Lottery Secrets: https://hubpages.com/money/Best-Lotto-Strategies-F...
Best Lotto Strategies For Winners
Tony on February 21, 2011:
there is only one thing that needs to be said: You can not win if you don't play. How many times have you made a basket in basketball when you didn't shoot? How many people have you dated that you didn't talk to? Yeah the odds are against you but there is no chance at all if you don't play.
jamaicathekid on February 04, 2011:
hey you never know!!! Good article.
lottery master on January 10, 2011:
How do you win the lottery?
Very simple: own it!
Vince on October 29, 2010:
What if I came to you and said, "I have a check for $70,000 for you right now or I will randomly pick a number out of hat and you can win 100 million dollars" Which would you choose? Most people would probably just take the check for the guaranteed money. What if I told you that there were 100,000,000 numbers in that hat? This is what you do by playing the lotto. If instead of buying 4 tickets a week on lottery tickets from the time you were 18 you put that $20 per month into a Roth IRA you would have $82,000 tax free when you turned 60 years old. So basically you're giving up $82,000 of future earnings on the chance of being a millionaire. If you are making $20 an hour you will have to work 2 extra years just to make that up.
Kitti on September 04, 2010:
Angelina and Brad, What's that got to do with Lottery. If they did go knocking on doors, they will knock on SOMEONES door! People win all the time, that is why the jackpot goes down. So if you play, you could WIN!
mikey on August 29, 2010:
Two drawings a week for the powerball is a hundred bucks a year. How much do people spend on vending machines, movie rentals? I think I will keep playing but thanks for the advice.
Ahmad on August 24, 2010:
KEVIN is right. all of you are right. BUT i don't understand. WHAT TICKET , and choosen numbers by the organizers.Powerball and megamillions are LOTTERY BALLS number right? what about the ticket and number you chose.. is WHAT the ORGANIZERS choose right? with their lotery machines . IT IS TOTALLY LUCk.. NO ODDS and SHIT like that . ITS LUCK! unless Powerball is cheating.the game
Greg Mack on August 11, 2010:
I like the way you think Kevin. You probably stirred up some heads with this one. Not many people want to believe that there is truly no odds to them accomplishing personal goals. There are times win dreams to come true, but the chances of it magically happening is very slim. Thank you, Kevin, for this great article!
linda south africa on July 09, 2010:
ask yourself something why i haven't won the powerball you will say its not the right i am sure you were saying that 2 years ago or last week, you will say that again next week until you are 80 then you win the powerball,what are you going to do then drive an austin martin. i don't understand why peaple cant win the powerball since its has less numbers the the national lottery i mean more peaple play powerball then lottery but still they don't win if you want to win don't play or play once after six months and when you play it must not exceed 5rand(1dollar) then you will win its gambling i am sure everyone knows that.
kenn rousseaux on December 30, 2009:
I got a family to take care of in The Turks And Caicos Island, Life Starts When The Church Ends.
kenn on December 30, 2009:
if god give me a chance to win tonight deceember 30,2009 i will help the others and its a promise i made to god
Thomas on December 09, 2009:
Sombody wins and as long as my odds are as good as theirs its good enough for me.
Norm on November 30, 2009:
5 weeks ago
Of course the odds are horrible, but I wouldn't compare it to Brad or Angelina knocking at your door. There is no reason for them to come knocking at my door. However, if they were told to "go knock on some random person's door", then it might make sense that they may or may not choose yours.
Jen on November 01, 2009:
My odds are as good as the person who won it. So that is good enough for me!
Melodyman on October 25, 2009:
Of course the odds are horrible, but I wouldn't compare it to Brad or Angelina knocking at your door. There is no reason for them to come knocking at my door. However, if they were told to "go knock on some random person's door", then it might make sense that they may or may not choose yours.
I think people play the lottery to win, but it's more for the excitement. We all buy the ticket and get excited about what we would do with all that money. We probably won't win, but I think that the excitement alone is worth a buck.
On a more hopeful note, I live in a town with about 10,000 people and two of those people have won the state lottery. I personally only know about 1,000 people and 1 of those people have won the state lottery as well. So, thats 3 people out of about 11,000 in my personal experience. Against the statistics, but it still happened...
HotQuad on October 18, 2009:
If YOU were DISABLED and had a SPINAL CORD INJURY You Would
Want To Play The LOTTO and HOPE That You Would Win Millions
and Get Out Of DENIAL...
Philip on September 22, 2009:
The man prayed and prayed to almighty God to let him win a lottery after many years of praying, God told him: Well if you want to win, at least buy a lottery ticket.
Ingo on August 09, 2009:
lottory is like faith,beliving in God, if you don't have hope you don't have anything
sbeakr on July 17, 2009:
I love this hub! You are a sober and snarky, with an eye for the man behind the curtain. New fan! New fan!
Michael on June 12, 2009:
I agree! However, I do purchase lottery tickets occasionally just like I gamble at a table occasionally. I know my odds are nill usually in either case, but I like to play either way. We all spend money in various ways for variuos froms of entertainment. I like the lottery, but I much prefer roulette! At least with roulette I can control 2/3rds of the table and at least break even with a three bet stack, but I usually win. That's why I love the game! I swear sometimes I could quite everything and make my living on roulette alone, but then reality sets in and life resumes. I hate it when that happens! lol...
Lthomas14 on June 12, 2009:
I think when most people play, they know their odds of winning are very slim. But people DO win. And of course, you can always play a game with better odds. You may "only" win $100,000, or $250,000, but hell, who wouldn't be happy with that?? In the end, the lottery is a form of entertainment. It is nice to dream of one day matching all 6 numbers. And that day will surely never happen if you don't play. I know 2 people who have won jackpots here in Ohio. One won $100,000, the other $2.5M...So yes, it happens. If you don't bet that dollar on the lottery, it will surely go to some other useless cause..and even if you don't win, that dollar goes to good use. Schools for instance benefit from lottery sales. Even if YOU don't win, someone wins, whether its a jackpot that goes to someone, or schoolbooks being supplied to underprivelged.....Someone is benefiting.
Manzar Abbas on June 06, 2009:
I want to play this lottry,how i can play this lottry
Email Address; firstname.lastname@example.org
nick on May 23, 2009:
I think as long as the majority of the profits go to community projects like schools, and parks I have no problem with the lottery. I don't like the idea of fat cats getting rich off of it. As long as the money goes back into the community it is just another form of taxes that people feel like they are getting something out of it.
loottery on May 23, 2009:
Playing the lottery serves a psychological need. The stats don't matter. Cigarettes, beer, and lots of other vices fill a need and lottery tickets are no different.