Lottery for a Year

January 03, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky, News 922 views

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ONCE Ticket - 2008-01-04To my future therapist reading this, January 2008 was when my gambling problem started.

I must be stupid, too rich, or bored or something because I’ve decided to do something very inadvisable. As a personal project, I’m going to play the lottery every week this calendar year. It truly astounds me the number of people that play the lottery each day in Spain, and many other wealthy “first world” nations. Lottery plays on the same basic fallacy of human reasoning that makes people afraid of terrorist attacks or plane crashes. I can’t really explain why I’m doing this experiment other than to demonstrate empirically how silly playing the lottery really is.
I’ve created a special page on this blog to track the progress of my efforts, so that you, my beloved readers, can anxiously check back every Friday and see if I can quit my day job and start building my robot army to rule the world buy a yacht yet.

In case you think I don’t know what I’m getting into, check out the link above and see that, at the risk of exposing my true geekiness, I’ve actually enumerated every outcome and calculated all the Bayesian probabilities for each. Let’s just say the outlook is bleak.

ONCE Ticket - 2008-01-04

These are my first two tickets that won’t make me rich tomorrow.

  • Heather

    Sooooooo what are you going to do if ya do win??? Hehe…

  • and i assume if you do make it rich all the money will be donated to charity 🙂 ?

  • I’ll be spending it all on hospital bills while recovering from being simultaneously struck by lightning and hit by a meteor.

  • Yes, but the thing is… people Are struck by lightning and people Do win the lottery. And the old saying is still a good one… “You can’t win if you don’t play.”

    You can do all the math you want, but at the end of the day there will be a winner.

  • Jake

    but it will not be you.

  • What Jake said.

  • people Are struck by lightning and people Do win the lottery

    Ever wonder what the average IQ of those people is?

    Alan, I congratulate you on not falling for the meteor trick. No one in recorded history has ever been struck by a meteor. They’ve been within a couple meters, but never actually made human, or other known mammal, contact on the fly.

  • If your plan comes to fruition I take it there will be “safe” jobs for regular blog readers cleaning the robot army yacht …

  • On a slightly different track. I note that your “random flag allocator” has just correctly assigned me the flag of Old Blighty. I wonder if my web traffic is no longer being routed by Dayton Ohio and if this is somehow related to Hotmail suddenly working after being blocked for two years. Am off to check to see how far this new found freedom will go.

  • My plan is to lose some money and prove a point, but if my plan were to spiral into undeserved wealth, then yes, I’d think of my regular blog readers.

    Of course there’s only so much safety I can guarantee while you’re scrubbing the lasers rudder.

  • Bill

    So, did you win anything? How did this turn out?