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6 Things You Never Knew About the Lottery

Unknown lottery facts

Everything in Life Is Luck

Lady Luck has some secrets up her skirt, especially when it comes to the lottery. Here are some interesting things that you probably never knew about the lottery.

Jesus Played the Lottery

Well, maybe Jesus himself didn’t play the lottery, but apparently God told Moses to use some kind of lottery to divide the land along the River Jordan. If you’re not familiar with this little tidbit, look up the Book of Numbers (whoever wrote the Bible had a sense of humor, it seems). Lotteries also have been mentioned in other books: Joshua, Leviticus, and Proverbs. Who knew people were testing their luck even back in Biblical days?

Is Spending Money to Win Money Smart?

Get a pencil, some paper, a calculator and maybe even an abacus out, it’s homework time! How much do you spend a week on the lottery? Multiply that by 52. That’s how much you roughly spend a year on trying to win money. If you’re shocked by that number, prepare to be stunned by this next set of figures.

If you are 25 years old and you put a meager $20 a month in a mutual fund, by the time you are 65, you will have (are you ready for this?) $93,626.41. I know, I know… The point of playing the lottery is to have that kind of money now and not when you’re old. Well, considering that you are 5,000 times more likely to get struck by lightning, 146 times more likely to die in a fireworks accident, and 8,000 times more likely to be murdered than winning the lottery, do you still it’s not a good idea to prepare for old age? With those kinds of odds, that mutual fund sounds a little more lucrative, huh?

To Quick Pick, or Not to Quick Pick… That is the Question

A recent survey shows that 80% of lottery players choose “quick pick” when selecting their numbers. These brave individuals are leaving their fortune in the hands (motherboards?) of a computer system. The remaining 20% of lottery players take luck into their own hands and select their own numbers. When lottery representatives were asked who has the better chance of winning, they answered without hesitation that it’s a  50/50 situation.

What does this mean? Think of it this way – out of the 80% of Quick Pick players, 40% will eventually win. Out of the 20% of players who select their own numbers, 10% win.

Do I need to tell you which side you want to be on? Maybe you might want to say bye-bye to your lucky numbers and let the lotto machine start picking the digits for you.

The Lottery Kills

…the economy. It was reported that in the United States alone, $50.4 billion were spent on state lottery tickets and video kiosks. Of that sum, the state took $17.9 billion in 2010. Of the remaining funds, 38% went to profits, administrative costs, and advertising. The rest of that money (roughly $20 billion) went back into the economy via prizes and commissions to the stores that sell the winning tickets. Sadly, many stores couldn’t stay open if it weren’t for lottery sales.

Get Snipped and You Can Win the Lotto!

If you live in India and participate in the so-called sterilization lottery, you could be entered to win a gamut of prizes. The authorities have created this lotto to promote more effective birth control and they will give participants 600 rupees ($11.00 US) for considering sterilization. From there, the names are entered in a lottery and the participants could win television sets, motorcycles, food processors and a Tata Nano among other prizes.

$11 and a chance to win a food processor? Where do I sign up?!

You Can Cheat at Scratch Offs

Don’t let people tell you that there is no way to cheat when you’re playing scratch off lotteries. A math professor with a PhD won in a multi-million dollar scratch card. The astonishing part? She won four times. Apparently, she was able to crack the lottery’s algorithms and she figured out the sequence. It works the same way as card counters can predict when certain cards will come up. While there isn’t a sure fire way of winning, these tricks certainly better the odds. Joan Ginther, our smart math professor, proves that!

Winning the Lottery Doesn’t Guarantee Happiness

Let’s end it all on a sobering note. If you’re a massive lotto fan, you’ve probably heard about the jackpot winner’s curse. This is the claim that many of the biggest winners end up quite unhappy or they lose the funds altogether. Statistics suggest that a staggering 44 percent of winners will lose it all. People develop a taste for wealth pretty fast. If they don’t come up with a solid investment plan, they spend the bulk of the money on cars, world trips, yachts and plastic surgeries. Thus, winning the lottery doesn’t guarantee success and happiness. You’ll still have to be smart about it or you’re going to be doomed!