Tuesday, November 13, 2012

This Can't Be For Real

I have some blogs in my feed reader that I don’t remember why I started following them. The other day, one of them caught my eye, 3 Way to Learn How to Win the Lottery. Even though I could read the entire blog in the reader, I chose to click through because I was sure it was some kind of joke. Yet, the best I can tell, the author believes what she has written.

The simple fact is, you aren’t going to significantly improve your odds of winning the lottery by doing anything that she says in this post. Theoretically, you might gain a little by studying the numbers. No random number generator is truly random and if balls are used to draw numbers, the slight differences in the weight of the balls can cause one to be slightly more likely than another. But if they change the balls, your advantage disappears.

Since the lottery is random, sticking to one game will gain you nothing. Some people have the idea that if they keep throwing their money at the lottery that eventually they’ll win. Gambling doesn’t work that way. The vast majority of the people who play will end up spending far more money than they win. The more you play, the more you lose. You can’t assume that your lucky numbers will come up eventually. Some numbers may come up more than once while some numbers will never be picked.

And lastly, playing often will increase your chances of winning, but it also guarantees that you’ll lose a lot more money. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the typical player spends $1,384 per year. So over 10 years, that is $13,840. Only two-thirds of the money taken in is paid out in prizes, so the typical player can expect to lose $4,567 over a 10 year period. If they were to take that $4,567 that they would lose by playing the lottery and invest it wisely, they could likely have the $13,840 dollars. If they were to invest the whole $13,840 wisely, over ten years, they could expect to have around $30,000. Put simply, people who don’t play the lottery have the potential to earn $35,000 more than the typical player over ten years.

Not only that, but most people who gain their wealth by winning the lottery will lose everything they gained within a few years. People who don’t play and invest wisely may never be considered wealthy, but they are much more likely to keep their financial well-being throughout their lives.