Thanks to one man, I don't need to play the lottery. I already know that if I play twice a week every week for the next 10 years, I will win a staggering total of $93 by 2020. Or, put differently, I will make back eight percent of the $1,040 I'll spend on the tickets.
I learned this from the time-wastingly fun yet cripplingly heartbreaking Mega Millions lottery simulator created by Friend of PopSci Rob Cockerham (whom you may remember from his Supertanker tour.) You can play your favorite numbers just once, for a year, or for 10 years and find out how little you win. And for the record, playing the Lost numbers does not yield better results.
Try it out for yourself; the lesson becomes pretty clear after a few simulated decades.
I guess I'll have a go at online gambling instead.
Nothing like a good simulation written specifically to NOT choose all the numbers you chose... not realistic in the least.
But, you still have to be in it to win it.
You've got $1,040 as the cost. That is just the cash. You also need to add costs for:
> Your time buying the tickets
> Your time checking the tickets
> Your time worrying about whether you checked the ticket correctly
> Expenses for any 'special' trips or stops to buy tickets
> Opportunity costs for the value of other good things you might have done with your time or money, but didn't because you were messing with lottery tickets.
.... say, all that adds up to $3 per ticket so we are up to $4,160 cost for your ten years of playing the lottery.
You won $93 over your 10 years. You also neet to add value for:
> Your entertainment dreaming about what you might win
> Your disaster avoidance because you were messing with lottery tickets (this could be huge, that pile-up on I-10 you missed out on, that child you don't pay to support because you didn't see a potential 'short term' mate when you were looking at a lottery ticket - hey, wait, that could be a cost if you really like kids...)
..... so, your lottery value is really based mainly on how much fun you have dreaming about winning for each ticket. Say that's $5 worth per ticket and then you actually come out over $1000 ahead!
Oh, wait, now that you've pointed out how unlikely it is that I will win, my fun from dreaming about winning is greatly reduced. Maybe even retroactively....
Hey, Julie Beck! You owe me about $5,000!!!
Essentially our lives are a big long sequence of events that ends with the final event of our death, most of these events are pretty mundane stuff , but among the mundane events there a population of very unlikely events, a population of improbable events , when they happen we often take notice of the coincidence or of the randomness of something when it happens . Turns out due to the nature of really large numbers that these sorts of unlikely events happen all the time , and they arent really all that improbable .
You only live once as they say , and Im including a lottery ticket in my population of improbable events because coincidences happen to me all the time.
this just shows you need to spend 100 bucks a week. not 2.
I wish I could invent a gizmo to make the simulator produce real winnings!
Hey I just won $10,243 on my 3rd try but I guess that was year 23 out of 30 so ugh not so good!
OK. I get it. I need to play more than twice a week. Lesson learned.
I've written many lottery simulation computer programs. What seemed to work best was to choose 100 different sets of numbers, play them all, and the next run, choose another 100 different sets of numbers. Do this for about a year or two on average and you'll win but it costs over $30K/year and there is of course still no guarantee that you'll ever win.
I dont find this website depressing at all. After 280 years of play, I finally hit it Big. It actually makes me happy that I dont play the Lottery for real. The point it makes is that it would take a person well beyond their normal lifespan(& several hundred thousand dollars of their hard-earned money) to have a significant chance of beating the odds, just like the real Lottery. Investments in 401K's, even in bad times, will make you a millionaire almost for certain-in a much shorter time. Well Done, Julie!
Check out this simulator.... puts it in perspective. It lets you simulate playing the Mega Millions game for YEARS :) www.megamillionssimulator.com