Have you ever dreamt of winning the lottery? Well, the dream recently came true for a group of seven New York state IT workers who chipped in to buy what turned out to be the winning Mega Millions ticket. Apparently, this was the fifth largest Mega Millions jackpot on record, worth an estimated $319M!!!
In case you haven’t heard, the story of how it happened is pretty cool:
A guy named Michael took up a collection and headed to a nearby convenience store to play the lottery. As he approached the counter, however, he hesitated and picked up a Snickers bar. Meanwhile, someone reached past him to buy a Mega Millions ticket. That ticket – the one that was nearly Michael’s – turned out to be a loser. But the next one – the one that Michael actually bought – was a winner.
Another interesting twist of fate was that one of Michael’s coworkers wasn’t feeling very lucky last Friday, so he decided not to chip in for this particular lottery run. If he had, the so-called “Albany Seven” would’ve been the “Albany Eight,” and he would’ve been on Easy Street.
But honestly, I can’t really blame the guy for not playing. After all, the lottery is a sucker’s game. Don’t believe me? Then click through to check out a cool lottery simulator over at GetRichSlowly:
Note: I tried to embed the simulator here, but it’s too wide to fit in the center column. Oh well, I guess you’ll have to hop on over to GRS to check it out. Just don’t forget to come back!
After playing around with the lottery simulator, I found that I was consistently losing around 90% of my money. JD went a step further and tracked his results over 100 different 10 year periods in which he simulated buying two tickets per week. Overall, he “invested” $104k in the lottery simulator and wound up with a grand total of $11,554 for his efforts. That works out to an overall return of -89%.
As they say, the lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math. While it can be fun to play every once in awhile, you certainly shouldn’t get in the habit of playing on a regular basis.
Oh, and please be sure to let us know how your lottery simulations turned out. Did you strike it rich? Or did you lose the bulk of your money like JD and I did? Please leave a comment and share your results.