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03-29-2012, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mouser View Post
More like a tax on people that flunked math.
I feel like most people who buy lottery tickets know the odds are long, but the people who buy them regularly do so for one of two reasons:

1) They like to dream. My mom's long-term (more than a decade now, and they'd be common law married in some states) boyfriend is a fairly well off guy who should be able to retire comfortably in only a few years, but he buys a lottery ticket every Friday, not because he has any expectation of winning (he's in the insurance business and has a pretty good sense of odds and risk and all that) but because he likes to imagine what he would do if he were that rich.

2) The odds of winning the lottery are long, but they perceive their odds of climbing a few rungs on the economic ladder are even longer. Depending on your worldview, this is either defeatist or pragmatic, but it's understandable regardless.

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