Why Playing the Lottery is a Good Investment

“The lottery is a tax on those who don’t understand statistics”, “the lottery is a tax on the stupid”. Have you ever said one, or a variation, of one of these? If so, then you might be an insufferable asshole. Also you’re wrong. Dead wrong. Seriously, how wrong can one person be? 

The odds of winning the lottery is millions and millions to one. In fact you’re more likely to land a job that gives you happiness and fulfillment than you are to win the lottery. Holy molly with those odds! So that it, right? You’re never gonna win so there’s no point in playing. Articles over, and that text down there is like a review of some vidya game or some such? Not quite. 

How much does it cost to play the lottery? Five to fifteen dollars a week, if that? How much does it pay if you win? A couple million all the way up to hundreds of millions of dollars? That’s some good scratch. Now, the odds of winning aren’t great, but do you know what strategy has even lower odds? Not playing at all. You probably won’t win if you play, but you  definitely won’t win if you don’t.

Related: Don’t feel bad about making a profit

”Stoski”, I hear you say in your whiny and annoying voice, “but if you won’t win, why bother playing?”. Yes you have a small chance of winning, and yes you will probably spend years of your life staring at losing tickets, but the return on investment if you do win is astronomical! 

So we have something that’s easy to do, that doesn’t take much of your time, with low chance of return but high return if it does pay off. Oh, and it’s low risk with a low buy-in, so you haven’t lost much on the on change that you win nothing. Seems like a great investment to me! Ever heard of a cost/benefit analysis?