What are the Chances of Winning a Lottery?

You can hardly find a person who has never dreamed of getting rich. Most people who are cherishing such an idea believe that the only way to do this is to participate in a lottery with huge jackpots. Taking into account editions of lotteries, there are dozens or even hundreds of millions of such dreamers.

randalls family lottery winners

To be sure, those who purchase lottery tickets understand that their chances of winning are quite small, but not all fans of such pastime realize how low the probability of winning a jackpot is. Moreover, almost none of them have thought about the psychological problems associated with gambling.

We have tried to describe thoughts, expectations of such people, and consequences of their desires to win a favor of the Lady Luck.

lottery winning chances

Optimism Bias

This widespread phenomenon is discussed in detail in the article Optimism Bias Can Be Dangerous for Gamblers, but it also makes sense to briefly explain what we are talking about.

In psychology, there is the term "cognitive bias", which is used to describe the irrational human behavior in certain situations. It causes people to act contrary to the common sense. The optimism bias mentioned above is tightly related to it.

Win a Lottery

People believe that they will come across only good events. They think that the probability of negative consequences of certain actions is significantly lower for them than for the others. They imagine that mortality rates, accident rates, and morbidity have nothing to do with them.

As for participation in lotteries, their fans believe that they will be lucky enough to win one day (even if they are well aware of the fact how small the probability is). They understand that the majority of people who buy tickets never win. However they are surely more successful than others!

lottery

We have just described what the optimism bias is. It makes users week after week spend money on tickets, which will be thrown away and bring much disappointment.

 

Perception of Chances of Winning
Psychologists have noticed that people are not able to adequately guess the probability of events that happen quite rarely. For example, we can hardly imagine the odds of becoming a victim of a shark attack or dying struck by a lightning.
An interesting experiment was carried out by Daniel Kahneman, an Israeli-American psychologist, who had been awarded the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research concerning the use of psychological techniques in the financial world. The research was designed to demonstrate the irrationality of making decisions relating the low-probability events.

Psychologist Daniel Kahneman

Two groups of the randomly selected U.S. citizens who were going to visit Europe were selected for the experiment. Two types of insurance were offered to them. Researchers tried to convince members of the first group to buy insurance that was providing payouts in case of death caused only by the terrorist attacks. The second group was convinced to purchase insurance that was covering death from any cause (including the terrorist attacks, although researchers did not emphasize this fact). Prices in both cases were equal.

It turned out that people from the first group were buying insurance much more active, although their conditions were much less favorable. The probability of becoming a victim of the terrorist attacks was low, but participants of the experiment succumbed to emotions and were unable to realistically assess the probability.
The same mechanism is active among those who are buying lottery tickets. The probability of winning is very small, but the jackpot size has an effect that is comparable to those that are provided by news informing about the terrorist attacks. Having been impressed by the quantity of digits, fans of gambling want to try their luck.

What are Your Chances of Hitting a Jackpot?
Approximate odds of winning Lotto 6/49 are1:14,000,000.

Do you know what you should do to become its owner? You have to weekly participate in lotteries buying tickets for $1 and spend every weekend $1,000 during 270 years.

To be sure, you think that this statistics is not applicable to you and you will beat millions of other candidates!
To illustrate this fact, we want to provide you with some odds of different events:

  • To be born with six fingers on each hand– 1:500
  • To win an Oscar - 1:12,000
  • To become a supermodel’s boyfriend – 1:88,000
  • To be killed in a plane crash – 1:350,000
  • To become an Olympic champion – 1:650,000
  • Die due to a dog bite – 1:700,000
  • Die slipping in the shower– 1:800,000
  • Become an astronaut – 1:13,500,000
  • And, finally, to win a lottery – 1: 14,000,000!!!

Very interesting calculations are provided in the John Hay’s book Taking Chances. According to statistics, the probability of death in the next year for a healthy middle-aged male is 1:1,000. Thus, odds of dropping dead within one hour are 1:9,000,000.
So, this means that if you buy a ticket one hour before a draw, you will rather die than become an owner of the jackpot!
So, why do we get in line to purchase lottery tickets? This happens due to optimism bias that makes us ignore the real probability of winning and give preference to illusive chances.

What a Smart Gambler Should Do?
The answer to this question has been already published on the pages of Casinoz.me in different variations:

Search for more profitable games of chance.

We are talking about the models with the highest theoretical payout percentage. In addition, you have to choose games in accordance with your skills and financial capabilities. If you want to play blackjack or video poker, you have to know how to play, and this is not so easy.
That's why we recommend that beginners should choose more simple games that do not require special skills. For example, some video slots provide the payout percentage of 98% (this parameter does not exceed 50% in lotteries.)
dark knight slot
If you really want to chase a jackpot, you should prefer any slot machine with progressive jackpots released by any of the well-known companies. You can run one-dollar spins once per week, imagining that you are playing a lottery. This will allow not only qualifying for the jackpot but also for the accompanying payouts, which are credited in numerous ways.

Conclusion
To sum up, we want to emphasize that all games of chance should be treated as responsibly as possible. Bear in mind that you wager your own money, instead of virtual chips.
Take the time to read special articles on the website Casinoz.me. They will teach you how to choose the appropriate game and select the best strategy.

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Date : 2016-04-26
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