iChef wrote:I've gotten into this argument many times with family members that insist on playing the lottery (The state tax on people who are bad at math).
I disagree with this. It's looking at lottery too linearly. ie you're of the opinion that for every $1 you put in, you get 50c back out.
That's not how it works.
For many, lottery is the only
chance they'll ever be truly rich. It gives them a chance at reaching something that they'll never reach through low risk investment and minimum wage alone. Without winning, they'd never be able to afford a yacht for instance.
To ignore both the "fun factor" of gambling and the dream of one day to be living the life of luxury, you've just ignored the entire point of the game. And it is that - a game, a form of entertainment.
Now I'm not saying it's at all a wise investment decision, and I'm not recommending people play. But this "state tax on people who are bad at math", oft-repeated, I feel is incorrect. The players may have actually done the maths, worked out the $10 a week they're spending is not hurting them and the dream of one day having a lot
of money (along with the very slim chance of it actually happening) is worth it to them
. I mean, on the one hand you have $10 a week * 15 years = $7800 spent on the lottery, with maybe $3900 returned. On the other, you have low risk investment: 7% interest, the same $7800, 15 years - you'd end up around $10k in today's terms. So the dream is maybe costing them $6000 for the 15 years ($10k - $3900). My hobbies - technology and cars - are beyond any doubt going to cost me a lot
more than that over the same period. So who am I to judge?