November 17, 2010

Why you won't win the lottery

One of my math classes in high school asked us to calculate how much money we would expect to make if we invested $1 a week in the then-new Indiana Lottery as compared to investing $1 a week in a bank account granting compound interest.  I vaguely remember that the Lottery return was something like -63% meaning that for every $1 you put into the lottery, you could expect to get back thirty-seven cents.

That hasn't, however, stopped me from dropping my in few bucks every time the lottery reaches a ridiculous amount and fantasizing about what I might do if I were ever to win.  I know, of course, that the odds are drastically stacked against me ever winning.

Thankfully, this blog post lets you see just how long those odds are as it plays any set of numbers in a Mega Millions simulator.  You can tell the simulator to play your numbers once, twice a week for one year, or twice a week for ten years.  The simulator then tells you how much you would have won for your investment.

From running the simulator four times at 1040 plays each, I've 'won' a total of $358.

I then hit to play a fifth set of 1040 and 'won' $10,061.

And that's why the lotteries work, folks.

PS - The rest of the blog from whence the lottery simulator comes is pretty neat, too.


calencoriel said... I just decided I was going to win the lottery today and be a stay at home mom for the rest of my life because I had so much fun not working today and taking the little one to get her braces.

I have all my shopping for Thanksgiving done and made lists for what I'm buying ppl for Christmas and everything.

And I didn't get any ridiculous calls from anyone wanting to show me a new video on shifting paradigms and I've got time to run to Target after I'm finished watching The Office rerun on TBS today...and I've already walked and everything...

I really wanted to win the lottery...

PHSChemGuy said...

Sounds like your day was already full enough that you didn't need the lottery to add to it.