My dad plays the lottery. He buys ticket every week, no matter how much I insist that he’s throwing his money down the toilet. This is one thing my math degree is good for, after all; I can calculate the odds of winning the lottery and compare them to the odds on the back of a ticket that few players bother to look at. My father thinks differently; how many times has he asked me to put my math to some good and help him pick out the winning numbers? No thanks. I’ll stick to my own lottery records. I’ve spent zero dollars on the lottery and have won three. That’s not a bad deal. If only the real lottery worked that way. (In case you’re wondering, the tickets were a prize at a friend’s wedding shower.)
Luckily, there’s a lottery simulator out there that will take care of that for you. Meet the incredibly depressing Mega Millions lottery simulator. Choose your numbers, and then choose whether you want to play once, twice a week for one year, or twice a week for ten years. I played twice a week for ten years, and the most I “won” was $243. This should be a sign not to play the lottery. I’m better off scouring the side of the road for lottery tickets. Actually, that might not be a bad hobby. All those folks who laugh at the idea at finding the winning lottery ticket on the side of the road might be interested to know that you may as well start looking.