Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I buy a lottery ticket twice a year. This week is one of those times.

The Mega Millions lottery annuity jackpot jumped to $237 million ($150.8 million cash) today after Tuesday night's drawing produced no top prize winner.

The jackpot is the biggest on offer since June in either the Mega Millions of Powerball games when one ticket had all the numbers in $261.6 million Powerball drawing.

I know and fully agree with all the arguments against the existence of a lottery -- it amounts to a tax on the poor, one that encourages them to spend money on hopeless dreams instead of productive purposes here and now. And I know the odds against winning the lottery: I'm almost certainly not the person who will win it if I play.

On the other hand: *Somebody's* going to win this money. $1 won't make my son go without a meal. So -- completely irrationally -- I will buy a single Mega Millions ticket this week.

1 comment:

KhabaLox said...

It's not completely irrational. The odds of winning are 1/175,711,536, so the expected value of playing is only slightly less than zero (ignoring the chance of multiple winners, which is hard to calculate without knowing how many people are playing).

Still, I'd wait for one more winless week before playing.