Buying Lottery Tickets, Despite Logic and Basic Probability Theory

Saturday morning, while I was at the grocery store… I broke down and bought $10 worth of lottery tickets. This is after I declined on joining in the office lottery pool for $5 (where technically, my odds were slightly improved).

While I was waiting in line to buy these tickets, it felt dirty and wrong. A large part of my brain knew that the odds against winning are just ridiculously bad… worse than bad, even. And the fact that my wife has a Master’s degree in Applied Statistics means I should really know better. But there I was, waiting patiently behind four other people so I could hand over my money.

Funny story: A year or two ago, when the lottery jackpot got really huge… I asked Liz if she and her coworkers got their money together to do an office lottery pool. Keep in mind that she works at DePaul as data analyst, and nearly everyone she works with handles numbers/Math on a daily basis.

When I asked whether they had an office lottery pool, Liz looked at me and said Why would we do that?

Pretty funny.

Liz’s Graduation and Celebration: Master’s of Science in Applied Statistics
Gaming the Lottery: Math, Cash WinFall, and the Players That Can’t Lose

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