Sunday, August 11, 2013

Playing Lottery

Tara Siegel Bernard in the NYtimes writes about "Win a Lottery Jackpot? Not Much Chance of That"

"When those exceedingly lucky people come forward to claim this week’s Powerball lottery jackpot, which swelled to $448 million on Wednesday, it’s hard not to think: Somebody is winning these things, right? It could be me.

This is exactly the sort of logic that, over the last year, led millions of people to spend $5.9 billion of their hard-earned dollars on Powerball alone. They spent nearly $69 billion on all lottery games in 2012, according to two lottery trade groups."


"“For emotionally significant events, the size of the probability simply doesn’t matter,” said Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel-prize winning psychologist. “What matters is the possibility of winning. People are excited by the image in their mind. The excitement grows with the size of the prize, but it doesn’t diminish with the size of the probability.”"

And I like especially the last sentence of this paragraph:

"Buying more tickets improves your odds, but not by much. So if you want the fantasy, just buy one. Buying more doesn’t make the fantasy any richer.

“The difference is like moving from a big house to a small house to make it less likely a meteor will strike your roof,” "

In case someone is ready to make that deal, just drop a comment...

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