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Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Tue May 25, 2010 11:40 pm UTC
by Duban
Does the Lottery and the promise of money make people do stupid acts, blind to what's really happening? Ok I recognize that if you have some expendable money it's ok to put it aside and buy a lotto ticket for fun, and maybe get lucky, but then there's many people who spend money they simply don't have to buy lottery tickets, and it's easy to forget just how much you're spending.

For example my own father is fairly intelligent, extremely knowledgable about computers and numbers, but has been on a semi-retirement working 2 days a week as a bartender. He's careful not to be indebted, but he's always strapped for cash and asked my mother for their shared tax return "hint she makes most of the money". A few months ago it came to our attention he was buying a $10 ticket every day and has been for several years when he was excited about winning $2500. I did the calculations and he was spending $3600 every year on tickets, and my father is by no means math illiterate either. He's since cut down.

Another family I know of "ok these people aren't the brightest lightbulbs when it comes to math" are the kind of people who struggle to pay the mortgage. I was over there once and they bought hundreds of cheap tickets and where somehow under the impression they had a 50% chance of winning. They already bought the tickets when i was over hanging out with my friend "family member, not as stupid" and it was too late but tons of money was wasted on an idea that is quite absurd.

I don't get it, how can people be so blind of what's going on right in front of them when faced with a slight possibillity of a huge payout. Even my father who is smart enough to do the math simply didn't even think about it. What is it that can make people act so foolish.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 12:06 am UTC
by Vaniver
It's been known for quite some time that lotteries are a tax on the financially/mathematically illiterate, which is why amusing that they're so villainous only states should get the money from them.

As for why it can be rational to play the lottery: you might believe that the large payout will increase utility by a vast amount, and the only feasible way to accumulate that much money is to play the lottery. Thus, the almost certain loss times a small amount is less than the massive increase times the chance of winning. For almost every situation, however, this simply is not the case. Habits and savings will do more to increase utility than a behavior with an expected loss which may result in a massive gain.

As for why people play the lottery: emotions aren't very good at meshing with mathematical computations of risk. If we have a vivid image in our mind of winning the lottery, that has to be compared against the number on the back of the ticket: 1 in 76,275,360 falls into the category of "possible but unlikely" not "you would have to buy one ticket a day for forty-two times the length of recorded history to have a 50% chance of winning." As the quip goes, if you do the numbers your odds of winning the lottery are about the same whether or not you play.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 12:25 am UTC
by EmptySet
It can also be rational if you're in it for the excitement rather than the money. Some people are aware of how unlikely it is that they'll make a profit, but think it's worth minor losses for the entertainment. In fact, as I recall one of the signs of problem gambling is when you start playing because you need or expect to win, rather than as entertainment.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 12:28 am UTC
by Vaniver
EmptySet wrote:It can also be rational if you're in it for the excitement rather than the money. Some people are aware of how unlikely it is that they'll make a profit, but think it's worth minor losses for the entertainment. In fact, as I recall one of the signs of problem gambling is when you start playing because you need or expect to win, rather than as entertainment.
Indeed, I forgot to mention this- I think that's a far stronger argument for casinos than lotteries, though. I was about to say that casino games require more involvement, which increases excitement, compared to lotteries, and then I remembered how popular bingo is.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 2:03 am UTC
by lutzj
Lotteries don't make people blind and stupid. Blind and stupid people support lotteries. Like Vaniver said earlier, most state and national lottos are essentially a "tax on ignorance."

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 12:10 pm UTC
by ianf
Like was said earlier, I can see the attraction more with other forms of gambling. Essentially, your losses are the payment for the enjoyment of that activity. I don't know enough about gambling to give accurate numbers, but I assume that if you play roulette then on average you would lose a percentage of your money. That percentage is your fee for having a night at the roulette table and may compare in cost to other activities (e.g. going to the cinema).

Similarly, I get the impression that for most people (in the UK) bingo is a social experience and the gambling element is almost secondary. If you win then that's good, but if you lose then you've still had a fun night out with your friends.

Or perhaps you might gamble against your favourite football team. If your team wins then you are happy because your team has won. But if they lose then you can still take some consolation in your winnings.

Admittedly, it's hard to see those things applying to the lottery, but I think that some of that still applies. I'm not sure that people expect to win or even think that they might win, but there's something of value in participating to them. Perhaps it's a bonding experience in a syndicate at work? Perhaps they are paying for the pleasure of being able to moan about losing again. Perhaps (like one of my colleagues at work) they just like a reason to write down loads of numbers and organise them in their computer.

Of course, there is the other side to it that people (even intelligent people) don't understand statistics - and sometimes statistics are counterintuitive at first glance.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 3:50 pm UTC
by Iv
I disagree with the premise. The people playing the lottery are not after a slightly positive expected gain but after a massive and sudden wealth that will change their life. The probability of a life change increases slightly when you play lottery and has a negligible adverse effect, so why not call it a tax on hope then ?

People who make this a retirement plan or who are hopping making a living out of it are paying an ignorance tax, right. But most people are aware that the probability is very low and that the expected gain is negative.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 3:55 pm UTC
by Indon
If you have ever played Everquest or World of Warcraft, it becomes evident that it is not the lottery that makes people stupid, but how we as humans interact with randomized events, which is what gambling relies on, but can also be found in activities like video games. Our brains seem to be built with a number of fallacious 'assumptions' that cause us to act ineffeciently when faced with random events, and explicit training is needed to overcome these biases.

If schools covered topics such as the Gambler's Fallacy, I imagine gambling rates would decrease, at least for the more house-tilted games.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 4:35 pm UTC
by Tomo
I play the UKs national lottery, and I have a fairly good understanding of statistics. The reasons for this are as follows.

The money I pay for the lottery is trivial. The amount of money would make no difference to my life whatsoever, I have a comfortable job and fiance with the same.

However, winning the lottery would mean I'd never have to work again.

Therefore, I'm betting essentially zero negative happiness against a large amount of positive happiness. No matter how small the chance of winning, my expected outcome is positive.

Edit - Took out conjecture on the amount I could pay for the lottery, it wouldn't really make sense once I fessed up to not really playing in a later post.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 4:42 pm UTC
by Indon
Tomo wrote:I play the UKs national lottery, and I have a fairly good understanding of statistics. The reasons for this are as follows.

The money I pay for the lottery is trivial. It's roughly £2 a week, or £100 a year. That amount of money would make no difference to my life whatsoever, I have a comfortable job and fiance with the same.

However, winning the lottery would mean I'd never have to work again.

Therefore, I'm betting essentially zero negative happiness against a large amount of positive happiness. No matter how small the chance of winning, my expected outcome is positive.


Why not buy a candy bar every week instead?

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 5:07 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
Or save the cash and buy an extra video game a year along with some spare change.

Also, relevant humor, at least in the US in some states, as proceeds for the various state lotteries do fund things like education.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 5:23 pm UTC
by Tomo
I buy all the videogames I have time to play, and I don't like candy :( I really haven't found anything I could spend the money on - I could give more to charity I guess but meh, no-one's perfect.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 5:24 pm UTC
by JBJ
Why buy insurance? It's simple risk management. The lottery is reward management.
I spend ~$40/week on the odds that my house might burn down or get into a car crash. I spend $10/week on the odds that the numbers on 6 ping pong balls that pop out of an acrylic tank might match the ones I've chosen.

SecondTalon wrote:Also, relevant humor, at least in the US in some states, as proceeds for the various state lotteries do fund things like education.
Grrrr... Florida was sold on the lottery the same way. The money does go to education, but it was sold as a supplement. Instead, it's a replacement.
"We've got 20 billion for education next year. What was the projected lottery revenue?"
"5 billion."
"5 billion projected? I'm sure we'll get more than that... I', thinking more like 8 billion. So... the education budget is now... 12 billion"
And that's how the Florida school system gets shorted on money each year... :evil:

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 5:38 pm UTC
by Indon
JBJ wrote:Why buy insurance? It's simple risk management. The lottery is reward management.


But human beings don't function in a way that would cause them to want to buy risk for good things happening. People generally prefer their good things to be definitive and to take risk to avoid bad things. So something else is going on there to encourage people to take probability-based actions over and over expecting the outcome to eventually turn out positive.

Mind that our lotto isn't, cognitively, likely to be much different than someone who sits at a slot machine and plays constantly, or someone in a video game who goes and kills a demon ten thousand times to get a super-rare item.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 5:47 pm UTC
by Zamfir
JBJ wrote:Why buy insurance? It's simple risk management. The lottery is reward management.
I spend ~$40/week on the odds that my house might burn down or get into a car crash. I spend $10/week on the odds that the numbers on 6 ping pong balls that pop out of an acrylic tank might match the ones I've chosen.

But the point of insurance is to prevent a loss, and the point of a lottery is to receive a gain. For small amounts, those two are roughly equivalent, but not for large amounts. If your current wealth is 100%, then going to 30% has more implications for your lifestyle than a gain towards 170%. So a prevention of a loss of 70% is more valuable than a gain of 70%, and people do indeed spend much more on insurance then on lotteries.

EDIT: as Indon says, people also have a loss-avoidance preference even for small amounts, but that is not quite the same phenomenon. Purely profit-maximizing companies for example do have insurance for large losses, but they are much less likely than households to have insurance for small losses.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 6:07 pm UTC
by Turtlewing
Tomo wrote:I play the UKs national lottery, and I have a fairly good understanding of statistics. The reasons for this are as follows.

The money I pay for the lottery is trivial. It's roughly £2 a week, or £100 a year. That amount of money would make no difference to my life whatsoever, I have a comfortable job and fiance with the same.

However, winning the lottery would mean I'd never have to work again.

Therefore, I'm betting essentially zero negative happiness against a large amount of positive happiness. No matter how small the chance of winning, my expected outcome is positive.


Sounds like someone could use a refresser on compound interest and exponential growth. The probability is that properly invested the 100/year would get you to not having to work again much more quickely than it will "invested" in lottery tickets.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 6:08 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
Tomo wrote:I buy all the videogames I have time to play, and I don't like candy :( I really haven't found anything I could spend the money on yet - I could give more to charity I guess but meh, no-one's perfect.
Or save it for when you do find something you want to spend the money on.

Or invest it - hey, not like you care, right? So invest it somewhere. Use it on a Kiva loan.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 7:17 pm UTC
by Vaniver
ianf wrote:Like was said earlier, I can see the attraction more with other forms of gambling. Essentially, your losses are the payment for the enjoyment of that activity. I don't know enough about gambling to give accurate numbers, but I assume that if you play roulette then on average you would lose a percentage of your money. That percentage is your fee for having a night at the roulette table and may compare in cost to other activities (e.g. going to the cinema).
Some quick numbers: your expected loss at the Roulette table with an optimal playing strategy is .053 cents per dollar per spin- for its average cost to be comparable to a $10 movie, you would have to bet at most $189 over the course of the night.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 7:20 pm UTC
by JBJ
Indon wrote:But human beings don't function in a way that would cause them to want to buy risk for good things happening. People generally prefer their good things to be definitive and to take risk to avoid bad things. So something else is going on there to encourage people to take probability-based actions over and over expecting the outcome to eventually turn out positive.

Oh, I agree, and there's an added psychological component for regular players. As a person who plays the same numbers on each drawing, if I quit and one day those numbers did win, that would be an immensely negative experience. Taking a minimal risk to avoid a huge negative follows the behavior you linked. I don't expect to ever win. It'd be nice if I did, but I'm not counting on it. My few dollars per week gives me some peace of mind. On occasions where I've forgotten to play, I'll honestly admit there's some anxiety when looking at the winning numbers from that drawing. I don't know how to apply it to people who spend inordinate amounts on quick-picks and scratch-offs, aside from gambling addiction.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 8:43 pm UTC
by Chen
Turtlewing wrote:Sounds like someone could use a refresser on compound interest and exponential growth. The probability is that properly invested the 100/year would get you to not having to work again much more quickely than it will "invested" in lottery tickets.


No principal, $100/year at 20% interest compounded monthly needs ~26 years to hit $1 million. Not bad, but thats a pretty ridiculous interest rate. At 10% takes ~45 years and 5% takes nearly 76 years. So yes it is certainly quicker than the ridiculously long expected time for a lottery win. But its also quite a long time at any reasonable interest rate.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 7:19 am UTC
by Tomo
Chen wrote:
Turtlewing wrote:Sounds like someone could use a refresser on compound interest and exponential growth. The probability is that properly invested the 100/year would get you to not having to work again much more quickely than it will "invested" in lottery tickets.


No principal, $100/year at 20% interest compounded monthly needs ~26 years to hit $1 million. Not bad, but thats a pretty ridiculous interest rate. At 10% takes ~45 years and 5% takes nearly 76 years. So yes it is certainly quicker than the ridiculously long expected time for a lottery win. But its also quite a long time at any reasonable interest rate.



It's also possibly longer than I'll have left to live :p

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 10:14 am UTC
by Marquee Moon
Tomo wrote:I play the UKs national lottery, and I have a fairly good understanding of statistics. The reasons for this are as follows.

The money I pay for the lottery is trivial. It's roughly £2 a week, or £100 a year. That amount of money would make no difference to my life whatsoever, I have a comfortable job and fiance with the same.

However, winning the lottery would mean I'd never have to work again.

Therefore, I'm betting essentially zero negative happiness against a large amount of positive happiness. No matter how small the chance of winning, my expected outcome is positive.

Try venture capital or other risking financial investments. You'd probably get better odds there. Basically what you're saying is you like risk, and on financial markets people pay you to hold risk.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 11:37 am UTC
by Tomo
Marquee Moon wrote:Try venture capital or other risking financial investments. You'd probably get better odds there. Basically what you're saying is you like risk, and on financial markets people pay you to hold risk.


Yeah, I'm obviously aware that these things would give a higher return investment, but I don't have the time to really look into it, nor the money to make it work.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 12:14 pm UTC
by Iv
Marquee Moon wrote:Try venture capital or other risking financial investments. You'd probably get better odds there. Basically what you're saying is you like risk, and on financial markets people pay you to hold risk.

Is there one where I can put 1 or 2 € instead of 50€ minimum ?

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 12:17 pm UTC
by Indon
Iv wrote:Is there one where I can put 1 or 2 € instead of 50€ minimum ?


Hmm, I was going to suggest penny stocks, but there seems to be some fairly big problems regarding integrity with many of them.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 2:08 pm UTC
by PAstrychef
Lotteries give poor folks the same kind of chances that playing the stock market gives rich folks-you can lose tons of cash or you can luck out.
The fact that the percentage of total income spent by poor folks is usually much higher than that spent by rich folks is seen as evidence that the poor folks are stupid. But a good number of rich folks make bad gambles on the markets and lose everything every year-and look at what happens when markets collapse. Or when a good player builds a huge ponzi scheme. Were Bernie Madoff's victims smarter than they guy buying 10 tickets at the mini-mart?
When I have the cash I sometimes buy a ticket. The couple of hours I spend in happy fantasy, funding projects, traveling and so on is easily worth the 2 bucks. If I want to spend my cash that way, why shouldn't I? I don't expect to win, and the cost is negligible.
A person could give up their coffee habit and only drink crappy instant, then invest the savings-but at what cost of day-to-day quality of life? If that mocha-cranberry-caramel frappacinio really gives you a boost, go for it.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 2:47 pm UTC
by Indon
PAstrychef wrote:Lotteries give poor folks the same kind of chances that playing the stock market gives rich folks-you can lose tons of cash or you can luck out.

No, it doesn't.

It's possible to 'play' the stock market in a safe and profitable manner, essentially allowing you to gain money for little risk.

There is no lottery like this.

I do, however, think you have a point - that wealthy people totally do the exact same thing, including some people who "should" know better. This implies that gambling isn't rooted so much in a general ignorance as it is a specific ignorance of how to identify a 'gambling' situation, and how best to deal with them.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 4:10 pm UTC
by Tomo
Indon wrote:This implies that gambling isn't rooted so much in a general ignorance as it is a specific ignorance of how to identify a 'gambling' situation, and how best to deal with them.


An ignorance of how to identify a gambling problem? Are you suggesting that people who play the lottery haven't noticed that it's gambling?

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 4:49 pm UTC
by Indon
Tomo wrote:
Indon wrote:This implies that gambling isn't rooted so much in a general ignorance as it is a specific ignorance of how to identify a 'gambling' situation, and how best to deal with them.


An ignorance of how to identify a gambling problem? Are you suggesting that people who play the lottery haven't noticed that it's gambling?


Indon wrote:This implies that gambling isn't rooted so much in a general ignorance as it is a specific ignorance of how to identify a 'gambling' situation, and how best to deal with them.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 5:26 pm UTC
by Tomo
Indon wrote:This implies that gambling isn't rooted so much in a general ignorance as it is a specific ignorance of how to identify a 'gambling' situation, and how best to deal with them.


ooooh, I see what you mean now, that comma through me off. I think you meant

"This implies that gambling isn't rooted so much in a general ignorance as it is a specific ignorance of how to identify a 'gambling' situation and how best to deal with them."

But I read it as

"This implies that gambling isn't rooted so much in a general ignorance as it is a specific ignorance of how to identify a 'gambling' situation. And so they have ignorance of how best to deal with them."

I really wasn't trying to be a grammar nazi either, I'm fairly sure that what you wrote is correct even with the comma, it just caused a misunderstanding on my part. I'm physicist, not an english-teaching-person-thing :p

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 5:42 pm UTC
by Indon
Tomo wrote:ooooh, I see what you mean now, that comma through me off.

Fair enough.

I meant "This implies that gambling isn't rooted so much in a general ignorance as it is a specific ignorance of how to identify a 'gambling' situation as well as a specific ignorance of how best to deal with such situations", so technically two related things.

There are people who are capable of dealing with gambling intellectually, who are not necessarily able to identify the same sort of situation in a different context, such as in a video game.

Not all situations that trigger the part of our brain that (mis)handles gambling involve literal gambling.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 6:22 pm UTC
by Tomo
Indon wrote:Fair enough.

I meant "This implies that gambling isn't rooted so much in a general ignorance as it is a specific ignorance of how to identify a 'gambling' situation as well as a specific ignorance of how best to deal with such situations", so technically two related things.

There are people who are capable of dealing with gambling intellectually, who are not necessarily able to identify the same sort of situation in a different context, such as in a video game.

Not all situations that trigger the part of our brain that (mis)handles gambling involve literal gambling.


I agree with a lot of that, especially the part about videogames. Any quick look over the topics about random loot on the WoW forum will tell you that ("Oh me yarm it's a 1/6 drop and I've killed it 6 times with nothing, so not random") and etc.

However I'd append the word can to the sentence about gambling being rooted in ignorance - There are no doubt a lot of people who do gamble for those reasons, but there are also people who gamble while completely capable of understanding probability, and also completely expecting a loss, but because it's fun!

I mean personally, I've spent maybe £500 gambling in the last ten years and my winnings are like £200 - but I've spent maybe £20,000 on my videogame collection and that's never won me anything :p

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 9:24 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
Arguably you still have those same video games, ready to be played after your initial investment. Discounting MMOs, of course. With the lottery, once the drawing's over, you've got a worthless piece of paper that, at best, can be recycled into a fast food bag or something.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Fri May 28, 2010 1:50 am UTC
by Marquee Moon
Iv wrote:
Marquee Moon wrote:Try venture capital or other risking financial investments. You'd probably get better odds there. Basically what you're saying is you like risk, and on financial markets people pay you to hold risk.

Is there one where I can put 1 or 2 € instead of 50€ minimum ?

Put 50€ in and don't play the lottery for 30 weeks or so.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Sat May 29, 2010 3:24 pm UTC
by tastelikecoke
slapping a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lottery_paradox for you.

Well the logic of people is not that you have a 0.00000001% chance, but you have a chance to win Money and lots of it.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Sun May 30, 2010 2:33 am UTC
by Tomo
Ahh man kids who set up a band are so blind and stupid, the chance of them suceeding is so minor.

And those people going into scientific research, ha, totally blind and stupid, what are the chances of them discovering anything.

Oh wow don't get me started on trying to be a professional sportsman, blind and stupid, do you know how many of them succeed?

And everyone who enters into a relationship, lol! the chances are completely against it lasting, it's bound to end in heartache. Blind and stupid.

Everything in life is chance, and sometimes things are fun despite the expected outcome.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Sun May 30, 2010 3:43 am UTC
by Duban
Ok I'm just starting to wonder. How many people actually read my posts before they reply? From my second sentence to the end of the first paragraph was about how I could understand why people would put aside some of their expendable money on a loto ticket. Then the rest of the post was about people who spend money they don't have on it. There are a lot of them. Yet most of the responses completely miss the whole "money they don't have" part and think I'm saying the lottery is a complete waste and nobody should ever buy tickets.

How many people even made it to the end of the first paragraph or even the title.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Sun May 30, 2010 5:39 am UTC
by tastelikecoke
I feel guilty and evil. :oops:

My father does the exact same thing too.

If you are talking about entertainment, try drawing on obscure lotteries. Our school had a lottery for a car, and since the ticket is a whopping P100 ($2) few took draws on it. It went for a whole year and it's deadline keep pushing. They bought a car and displayed it on the lobby. It collected a severe amount of dust already. When they decided that "This lottery will never gain anymoar tickets," They finally drawn the winners. I think from the puny amount of drawn tickets you probably have 1/120 chance to win. The car they displayed was probably worth P1 000 000 more or less, what an imbalance.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Sun May 30, 2010 2:22 pm UTC
by PAstrychef
Duban wrote:Ok I'm just starting to wonder. How many people actually read my posts before they reply? From my second sentence to the end of the first paragraph was about how I could understand why people would put aside some of their expendable money on a loto ticket. Then the rest of the post was about people who spend money they don't have on it. There are a lot of them. Yet most of the responses completely miss the whole "money they don't have" part and think I'm saying the lottery is a complete waste and nobody should ever buy tickets.

How many people even made it to the end of the first paragraph or even the title.

First off, you pay for the lottery in cash, so you can only play if you have the money.
If it's money that should have gone to pay the bills-that's a choice between poorly understood statistics and the lure of easy cash.
It's the idea of the big payoff-that one lucky day will solve your financial problems forever that gets those tickets sold.
I think it was your censorious tone that had folks defending buying a ticket. Was your Dad put in financial peril by the amount he was spending? If he wasn't then how he chooses to amuse himself is up to him, even if it leads to a net loss. If he chose to spend the same amount on fancy chocolates to give to friends would there be a problem?
Not mention that there are plenty of people out there who are just that stupid.

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Posted: Sun May 30, 2010 6:48 pm UTC
by Duban
PAstrychef wrote:First off, you pay for the lottery in cash, so you can only play if you have the money.
If it's money that should have gone to pay the bills-that's a choice between poorly understood statistics and the lure of easy cash.
It's the idea of the big payoff-that one lucky day will solve your financial problems forever that gets those tickets sold.
I think it was your censorious tone that had folks defending buying a ticket. Was your Dad put in financial peril by the amount he was spending? If he wasn't then how he chooses to amuse himself is up to him, even if it leads to a net loss. If he chose to spend the same amount on fancy chocolates to give to friends would there be a problem?
Not mention that there are plenty of people out there who are just that stupid.

Although he's careful enough to make sure he has enough to live and not be indebted, he still asked for the healthy tax return check when he was spending 3-4 thousand dollars on lottery tickets each year without realizing it. The other family is losing their house in a few weeks. While their problems may not be completely because of the lottery it's safe to say they didn't have $100+ to spend on the lottery.