The Powerball Lottery Is A Bad Pipe-Dream

It’s Wednesday January 13, 2016 and here in the United States the Powerball frenzy is reaching its peak. What’s interesting is that it only reaches this level of mass hysteria when the Powerball grand prize reaches record levels as it has today: $1.3 billion dollars and growing.

There are some that call the Powerball lottery a national disgrace because it exploits despair and offers false hope for those who feel that a game of chance is the only way to become wealthy in this country.

The problem is people who spend the highest percentage of their income on lottery tickets are the same people who can least afford to gamble their money away. Most are a mere $500 medical bill or car repair away from financial ruin as it is. 

Now look, I’m really not trying to be a buzzkill here by telling you these things. I’m not trying to crush your dreams. Some incredibly lucky people do win. I understand that most people like to dream big and playing the lottery is simply entertainment. It’s fun to sit back and think of ‘what I would do with all that money if I did win’. Hell, I may even buy a ticket or three today; but no more than that.

Powerball Results: Negative

Results [ri-zuhlt]

  1. to spring, arise, or proceed as a consequence of actions, circumstances, premises, etc.; be the outcome.
  2. to terminate or end in a specified manner or thing. noun
  3. something that happens as a consequence; outcome.
  4. mathematics. a quantity, expression, etc., obtained by calculation.
  5. often, results. a desirable or beneficial consequence, outcome, or effect: We had definite results within weeks.[/quote]

One of the biggest problems that lead to powerball hype is the sad fact that most Americans are very weak at math. Let’s do some. The odds this time around to become a Powerball jackpot winner are 292.1 million-to-1. But what does that really mean? Let’s plug in some real number and see what happens…

The Reality Of Powerball Results?

Try This Real-Time Simulation Pick your numbers and watch your money disappear

Wait there’s more… let’s look at this another way.

In real-life terms, here are a few examples of what the odds of winning Powerball actually represent:

  • The odds of a Powerball ticket winning the grand prize are about three times worse than the odds of successfully contacting Kim Kardashian by dialing a random cellphone number, and then hoping her phone happens to ring (There are just over 300 million mobile phones in use in the U.S., and Kim says she currently has three of them).
  • If you are a 20-year-old man, the odds of your ticket winning are somewhat worse than the odds you will die in the next two minutes.  (The odds of an average 20-year-old man dying on any particular day are about 350,000 to one. Since there are 1,440 minutes in a day, that makes the odds of a 20-year-old man dying in the next two minutes 252 million-to-1. )
  • Of course you can increase your odds by buying more than one ticket. Suppose you decide to spend $100 to buy 50 tickets.  Your odds of winning will then be roughly half as good as the odds of a machine randomly selecting a Social Security number from among all the Social Security numbers issued to people born in the same year as yourself, and then finding that the number selected turns out to be yours.  (In other words, 50 times basically zero is still basically zero).*

When you come up empty again tonight here’s something to think about.

Why don’t you consider taking your lottery money, before you spend it on the next drawing, and invest it in a simple online business. With today’s easy-to-learn tech platforms you can build your own website in less than an hour, without any experience and for probably fewer dollars than you spend on lottery tickets, and start creating something that you actually have control over. 

The internet is about as level a playing field as their is in the business world today. At worst, you can start making a small passive income every month. At best you can become wealthy and not rely on lady luck anymore to make your dreams reality. Take control of your own life and make your own luck.

*source blurb = Salon.com

Ticket Photo Credit: Upupa4me via Compfight cc

Powerball Results Photo Credit: garryknight via Compfight cc

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